At the Bendigo Soldiers’ Memorial Institute, the RSL is planning a gallery suitable for showing items borrowed from the national collections, which will require museum-quality environmental control standards 24-hours a day. We proposed using Passive House principles to achieve this, and two of our architects recently ran a workshop in Bendigo on Passive House for our client, the City of Greater Bendigo, and contractor Nicholson Construction.
[ rendering: Lovell Chen ]
The Institute building dates from 1921 and was designed by local architect George Dawson Garvin. Various additions had been made over the years, and have been removed as part of the current project. Conservation works to the main building include render, plaster and roof repairs, and underpinning — the Institute sits on a compacted mullock heap, above old mineshafts.
[ illustration: Lovell Chen ]
For the new gallery, we designed an extension that encloses a highly insulated, air tight inner building (cella) inside a ventilated circulation space (pteroma), which is in turn enclosed by a perforated weathered steel screen (mashrabiya) and steel-clad mansard roof. The two-storey cella houses the gallery at ground level and storage/preparation areas above. Its design includes an energy recovery ventilation system and the use of structural steel is kept to a minimum to eliminate thermal bridges. The cella is insulated inside its structure, the pteroma outside.
[ drawings: Lovell Chen ]
Read more on Passive House
The $4.5m revistalisation project is jointly funded by the federal and state governments, the City of Greater Bendigo, Bendigo District RSL and the local community.