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    MSJ Architects transform 'worst eyesore' of Sydney's north into a $50 million community health centre

    Nathan Johnson

    One of the biggest eyesores on Sydney’s Northern Beaches will be developed into a $50 million community health centre designed by McConnel Smith & Johnson Architects (MSJ).

    Currently, 612-624 Pittwater Road in Sydney’s Brookvale is a vacant block, flanked by a range of industrial and retail buildings and across the road from Warringah Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in NSW.

    It has been vacant for decades and considering its prime positioning in terms of public transport and accessibility, has long been considered a waste of space. But it mightn’t remain vacant for long, with MSJ lodging their development application for a new healthcare centre with NSW Planning for assessment and a public exhibition process.

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    Now and then: the new building will be built right to the boundary to accommodate a new transit hub for the busy part of the Northern Beaches. Images: Google Earth and News Corp.

    Following the demolition of a few neighbouring buildings, the new five-storey Brookvale Community Health Centre (BCHC) will take up the western portion of the L-shaped site, providing 5,591sqm of floor space devoted to a range of community health services, while a seven storey carpark will be built on the site’s north eastern corner.


    “There’s no doubt this is the worst eyesore on the northern beaches… [In] 23 years, I can’t remember it being anything other than a neglected site,” say NSW Premier Mike Baird in The Manly Daily.


    On the western façade of the BCHC,  the building will be expressed as two ‘pavilions’ demarcated by a slight kink in the site on its boundary and different in their exterior wall materials. The pavilions are separated by the central public stair and lift associated with a pedestrian bridge that will run across Pittwater road. The western frontage will also accommodate a Bus Rapid Transit interchange for Transport NSW and a retail tenancy space.

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    The healthcare centre will be situated on the front portion of the site while the carpark will be placed at the back and linked to the street by a pedestrian bridge through the healthcare centre. The western frontage will accomodate a new transit hub and retail space. 

    The eastern façade will address the access road to the car park and the intention is to provide a more human scale to the civic scale of the western elevation.

    The cladding to the upper floors will comprise of lightweight aluminium cladding whilst durable masonry materials like off form concrete will be used at the lower pedestrian levels. On the western façade, sun control, in the form of aluminium vertical blades, is proposed to screen the glazed curtain walls of Levels one and two of the southern pavilion while on the northern pavilion, discrete window openings are composed to reduce and control sun penetration.

    MSJ says that colour, tone and texture will be used to articulate the form of the building while materials will be selected to provide the required level of durability, be of long life and low maintenance.

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    The building will be devoted to a range of health services including adult mental health, drug and alcohol help, breast screening, rehabilitation and chronic care and community nursing.

    It will be welcomed news for 

    The development will be on exhibition until Friday, December 4.

     

     

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