Old Police Hospital

The former Victoria Police Hospital, opened in 1914 on the corner of St Kilda Road and Southbank Boulevard, was officially re-opened by Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis in August 2015 after a year-long refurbishment of the heritage-listed building.

The Old Police Hospital. Photo: Ben Hosking, 2015.

The Old Police Hospital provides accommodation for the Dean’s office and administrative units of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

The former Victoria Police Hospital operated as a hospital for some 65 years from 1914 and was not only the first police hospital in Victoria, but is claimed to be the first in the world. It was taken over by the VCA in 1980 and used for a range of purposes until its eventual refurbishment in 2015.

The refurbishment balanced the needs of a contemporary workspace against the heritage restraints set by Heritage Victoria, achieving a balance between the new and old.

Architect Louise Goodman believes the success of the project has been in stripping back the building to its original plan.

“This allows the elegance of the new forms and materials of the building additions, which have a beauty in their own right, to complement the existing brickwork and proportions of the original hospital,” she says.

Outside, new steel and glass entry canopies were built to the north and south of the central entry and an interpretative garden, designed by Oculus landscape architects, is intended to resemble the outbuilding which was located in the same place.

Feedback and consultation

To discuss the project, ask questions or give feedback please contact our project team at southbank-redevelopment@unimelb.edu.au.

Architect

  • Hatz Architects

Features

  • Welding and foundry room
  • Wet mould room
  • Wood machining shop

Rationale

  • A purpose built centre for construction and design processes, opening up new design potentials and accommodating students from various disciplines

Timeframe

  • Refurbishment began 2015
  • Currently operational

Funding

  • University of Melbourne