The Office of the Victorian Government Architect (OVGA) has released a guide showing the relationship between good design and the value of heritage, which is intended it says, to “raise awareness of good design and promote discussion about its benefits and value.”

Currently in its seventh edition, the 'Good Design and Heritage' guide has also been released to help promote discussion about the benefits of heritage buildings and their repurposing.  

OVGA says the 'Good Design and Heritage' is an “enduring legacy of how any government is reflected through its heritage places.”

"Each generation contributes to the constantly evolving historic environment in its own way. To achieve this it is important to understand that good design adds value and that welldesigned buildings and places make the most of heritage sites and their opportunities," it says.

Developed in conjunction with Heritage Victoria, the Heritage Council of Victoria and heritage architect Helen Lardner, 'Good Design and Heritage' has been also described as a guide that will help maintain and augment the state heritage legacy for future generations.

“Victoria’s built heritage speaks eloquently of a rich history marked by constant growth and renewal. As its beneficiaries we seek to maintain and augment this legacy for future generations, and in making our contribution we enhance our appreciation of it,” says Stuart Macintyre from the Heritage Council of Victoria.

However, there is more to the 'Good Design and Heritage' guide than just the appreciation of aesthetics or history. According to Lardner, “The best adaptive reuse does not dissociate the past but layers new uses and meanings on already valued places.”

In the guide, OVGA also says that “contemporary architecture and innovative design is an important part of the contextual approach to heritage fabric because it adds to the existing diversity and layering of architectural styles through time. “

This layering, it says, “is a defining feature in Victoria’s heritage. Appreciation of heritage includes the diversity of eras and elements that make up the physical environment, including gardens, objects and precincts.”