Queen Victoria Women's Centre 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC

role Architecture, Interior Design value $4.5 million completed date 1996

The restoration and fitout of the former Tower E of the Queen Victoria Hospital Buildings as a Women's Centre, accessible and available to all the women of Victoria, represents a return of the building to its original intent. In 1987, the Victorian Government pledged that the tower would remain in women's ownership. peckvonhartel were lead members of the team that compiled the brief for the restoration and re-use of the Centre. As the first Women's Centre in Australia, a twelve member trust of women from diverse backgrounds, was formed to oversee the development. peckvonhartel were selected as architects.

Given the existing building was previously the administration wing of the Queen Victoria Hospital, it adapted well to refurbishment. The refurbishment includes the use of the former offices and bedrooms as galleries, retail spaces and offices, for lease individually or as suites. The two original ward floors are well suited to their use as a conference room for up to 150 people, and the free flowing spatial requirements for the Victorian Aboriginal Women’s Centre. Mindful of the need for access for all women, ramps and wheelchair lifts became important design considerations. Provision was made to allow the use of two rooms for a children's room and baby change facility.