It’s always exciting to see old buildings gain new life, especially when the transformation serves a social good. Melbourne-based PHAB Architects transformed a former Nestle condensed milk packing shed into a contemporary art gallery called The Condensery. Located in Toogoolawah in Australia’s South East Queensland, the nearly century-old building was beautifully restored without compromising its industrial character.
Built in the 1920s, the packing shed is the only surviving building of a Nestle condensed milk factory that, until it burned down in 1951, had been considered a successful and important focal point for Toogoolawah. Rather than tear the old building down, PHAB Architects chose instead to preserve the existing architecture as much as possible, from the exposed roofing iron to the stained concrete floor. The asymmetrical gable was kept intact, though the exterior was given a fresh coat of paint with a vibrant palette of pinks, reds, and browns.
While much of the original footprint was retained, the architects added a more modern addition to the building’s western third, which had collapsed due to termite damage. “From afar, the project reinstates the original building form, and is perceived as a simple red shed in the landscape,” said the architects. “The design takes advantage of the existing outdoor terraces (remnants of other factory buildings) that broaden the building’s potential for public events and private functions.” The new Condensery art gallery also includes a sculpture garden and workshop.
Images via PHAB Architects