We call it Building Excellence We call it Building Excellence

Hurstbridge Family Centre – Graysharps Rd - Hurstbridge - $4.6M

THE newly refurbished Hurstbridge Family Centre reflects the wider district’s love affair with Mother Nature.

Timber, and plenty of it, features prominently in the $4.6 million internal re-fit and external facelift for the centre which acts as a day care, pre-school and maternal health/allied health services facility for Hurstbridge and surrounding areas.

Builder Billings Long, following the brief of Prahran-based Perkins Architects, has employed a range of structural and aesthetic tools to achieve a community space that is both highly functional and pleasing to the eye.

Billings Long co-founder and current director Damien Long says his firm went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the building reflected the architect’s vision and was in perfect harmony with its leafy surroundings.

“The raw, earthy feel you see when you walk around and through the building is achieved by the silver ash Shiplap cladding to the external walls as well as the extensive blackbutt timber decking to the rear which will weather well over the years,’’ Mr Long says.

“Inside, the outdoors is brought in through the extensive use of glass and the added wow factor is achieved through the employment of exposed structural beams (Durabeams). In my view, by using the materials specified by the architect and carrying out its brief, we have successfully married the old and new features of the building. It has a warm and inviting feel, but is studded with practical features to enhance the lives of both children and staff.’’

And when it comes to cutting-edge features, the building has been fitted with green acoustic panelling to minimize noise. Ample storage room is on hand as well as handy banquette seating throughout. Other practical components in this building include the two kitchens, which offer gleaming industrial-style stainless steel benchtops and appliances.

Visitors will be impressed by key design elements including strategically placed glass in multi-use zones so that children can be monitored at all times.

Billings Long employee Isaac Easthope also played a part in ensuring the imaginative rear playground was more than just good-looking open space. Isaac, whom Damien Long describes as a “craftsman’’, built the heritage-style water pump and the water wheel in the rear area, delivering countless hours of fun for the centre’s youngsters.