A colourful history
Beachleigh has a significant and varied history. The property was originally built in 1878 as a seaside holiday home, Beachleigh, by eminent Melbourne architect Thomas Watts. The house and broader site then became the Orthopaedic Branch of the (Royal) Children’s Hospital of Carlton during the Inter-war years. The existing house was remodelled to reflect the Mediterranean style of the new hospital and adapted for use as the nurses’ quarters. Around 1941-42, the hospital was acquired for military purposes, however within a year it was returned as the Orthopaedic Branch. In the 1970s, the site once again changed ownership. It underwent a transformation into an aged care facility known as the Mount Eliza Centre. In this redefining of Beachleigh, the site’s historic value is preserved, as old structures are given new life.
Revitalised and renewed
The new development will embrace the adaptive reuse of the existing heritage buildings, unveiling layers of character from the site’s past to produce a medley of old and new. The heritage components of the development will be restored and celebrated, creating not only a connection to the past, but new opportunities to foster a sense of community and interaction with the local neighbourhood.
Through the restoration of three iconic structures – the Chapel, the Mount Eliza Centre and the Wellness Wing – the entire precinct will be instilled with a sense of character and charm.
The former hospital Chapel dates back to 1929 and will be sympathetically restored as a provedore specialising in local produce, such as wine and cheese, along with essential items. The restoration will retain as much of the original fabric as possible, including the raked ceiling and exposed beams. It will be open to the public and become an iconic retail offering within the Beachleigh precinct.
The Mount Eliza Centre
The Mount Eliza Centre was one of the central buildings in the 1929 complex. Preserving all of its original personality, the building will be transformed into a beautiful grand reception with a concierge and sales office, business centre, library, lounge and terrace with sweeping sea views.
The Wellness Wing
The existing Wellness Wing dates back to the hospital complex, functioning as a former ward for heliotherapy and hydrotherapy treatments. With many original features still intact, it will be reinterpreted as a restaurant, bar, lounge, gym, yoga studio and changing facilities. It will see a new extension to the existing pool house, paving way for an infinity pool, spa, wellness centre and resident’s cinema.