ClarkeHopkinsClarke is undertaking a $500m transformation of a former mental asylum in Bundoora to create the Polaris 3083 residential and retail hub.
October 26th, 2015
Currently under construction in the north Melbourne suburb of Bundoora, the Polaris 3083 is a vibrant community set to revitalise the former Larundel Psychiatric Hospital. Famously uninhabited since closing in the late 1990s, the site has been a stomping ground for trespassing urban explorers, and is now getting an overdue facelift.
“This historic site bounding La Trobe University and abundant parkland has a unique sense of character that will be reimagined in an exciting new context and richly woven into a contemporary urban fabric,” says Robert Goodliffe, Partner at ClarkeHopkinsClarke.
Designed with the goal of preserving the heritage of the site, Polaris 3083 will retain five of the hospital’s original red brick buildings. Four of these are being repurposed as apartments, with the remaining building readapted as a community centre.
The presence of these former Larundel Hospital buildings drove the ClarkeHopkinsClarke architects project masterplan, which recognises the need for functionality and liveability, yet preserves and celebrates the existing architecture.
“Preserving the heritage buildings and existing trees has been important for lending a sense of an established neighbourhood to what is essentially a brand new development,” Goodliffe says.
While stage one of the Polaris project, The Village Centre’, was opened in 2014, further expansion to complete the village centre is currently underway. The Village Centre is presently composed of 64 one, two and three bedroom apartments, which are located over cafes, restaurants and retail outlets on the ground floor. A full line Woolworths supermarket and Dan Murphys store complete the current retail offering.
By retaining the historical significance of the Larundel site and encouraging a more inclusive and collaborative community, Polaris is set to become a leader in forward thinking community design and sustainability.
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