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Masonic Hall

2016 COMMENDATION
NEWCASTLE ARCHITECTURE AWARDS
Award for Heritage

Lake Macquarie, NSW

Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) refurbished the Masonic Hall to provide a much needed, multi-purpose facility for council staff and local community groups. The project involved the complete internal fitout of the building as a training facility, and the addition of a striking new contemporary awning to the façade. The building height created an opportunity to introduce mezzanine levels for storage above the meeting areas, accessible via a pull-down stair. This feature maximises the ground floor space available for functional meeting room purposes. A 6.5 metre operable wall was installed between the medium (30m2) and large (71m2) training room spaces to create a wider open space for functions or larger meetings.

A key design feature includes the reinstatement of the front entrance and windows with new timber products in the style of the original openings. The ceiling structure was retained with removal and replacement of the ceiling sheeting, preserving the original structural grid and timber cornice framing, which has become a feature of the adaptive re-use of the space. Features such as the original wall vents were preserved with the new internal wall sheeting being boxed out around the vents. A vertical garden system creates a green wall screening the air conditioning unit and water tank outside from the landscaped break out area.