Mernda Ambulance Station
A small but important piece of public infrastructure, making its presence felt within the evolving commercial precinct of Mernda.
Built within a rapidly urbanising neighbourhood, in response to the partially built context of the Mernda Town Centre Development Plan, the building fronts Plenty Road (widened and upgraded) to the east and a shared bike/pedestrian path (now under construction) along the adjacent creek alignment to the south.
With the blessing and encouragement of the City of Whittlesea, this building – a small but important piece of public infrastructure – makes its presence felt within this evolving commercial precinct. It reinforces the street alignment established by the Victorian era Bridge Inn Hotel (one of few historical fragments from Mernda’s early rural settlement) and overtly celebrates the strident livery of emergency services vehicles.
Pining for a piece of the triple zero emergency action, the building reaches for the emergency response costume cupboard and wraps its street front facade in a red and white diagonal striped shroud. This folds around the building, connecting the supersized garage at the front with the domestic scale sleeping quarters at the rear where it folds back on itself, forming a screen which hides utilities from public view. The low scale administration and training spaces pierce this red and white shroud to the south which – along with the internalised facades to the north and west – are characterised by their recessive neutral colour palette.
As a tough, low maintenance material with a long and colour fast life, Vitrapanel became the ideal material to carry this bold red and white graphic. A colour faded ambulance vehicle wouldn’t inspire confidence at your time of emergency need and neither would the colour faded facility that the vehicle calls home. The building seeks to inspire the same confidence as a freshly painted and well-maintained emergency vehicle, and is accompanied by neutral facades from charcoal coloured Vitrapanel and raw compressed cement sheeting.
The living and lounge areas enjoy the sunny northern aspect, bedrooms are located in a sound insulated pod to the east end of the building, while entry, admin and training rooms are visible and connected to the street on the south and southeast. The material palette internally is clean, fresh and functional with charcoal carpet, white walls and joinery along with felt grey acoustic lining, punctuated by the bright red linoleum flooring marking the entries from the street and the carpark.
- Full Services
Project Director: James Staughton
Project Team: James Staughton, Ming Lie, Simone Koch
Photographer: Chris Matterson
Mernda, Victoria 3754
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