The Australian government has started planning for the renovation and ongoing use by Defence of an historic art-deco building in the Victoria Barracks precinct in Melbourne. Defence has engaged Melbourne architects Lovell Chen to conduct a feasibility study into the refurbishment and re-use of the former Repatriation Outpatients Clinic located at 310 St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Lovell Chen specialises in the preservation and adaptive re-purposing of heritage buildings.

The building, which adjoins Victoria Barracks on St Kilda Road near the CBD, was completed in 1937 and contains heritage elements of Commonwealth significance. It was constructed to provide outpatient support to World War I veterans and continued providing services to veterans for decades. The site was used by Defence up until the late 1990s but has been vacant for more than 20 years. The feasibility study will identify opportunities for the renovation and ongoing use of the building, while taking into account a planned redevelopment of the wider Victoria Barracks precinct.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the study would allow Defence to consider options for the future re-use of 310 St Kilda Road. Price said this would include accommodation for both Defence and Defence-related community groups, such as veterans’ organisations. “The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring the future use of 310 St Kilda Road preserves the building’s heritage and architecture,” Price said. “We are seeking to balance the growing needs of Defence, while noting the building’s close links to Australia’s military history and our veteran community.”

This study will guide Defence’s restoration and repurposing of the building, and potential accommodations for Defence-related community groups, including veterans’ organisations.

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