Hot plan for a cool room

25-04-2020 by admin

NEW LIFE: Bathurst architect Tony McBurney has taken possession of one of Bathurst’s most familiar landmarks on the old Dairy Farmers site. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 051316ptony2Bathurst architect Tony McBurney has a vision to bring the old cool room at the Dairy Farmers factory back to life in a new and beautiful way.

Although it has seen better days, the three storey building, which is somewhere between 110 and 115 years old, has a lot of historic substance and value, according to Mr McBurney.

The building he plans to turn into the headquarters for his business, Integrated Design Group, was once the cool room where the milk was stored when it was a working factory.

Mr McBurney said he purchased the Bentinck Street building because it is part of the town’s past and deserves to be part of its future.

“We reckon it’s a great old building,” Mr McBurney said.

When Mr McBurney took possession of the building it was full of pigeon poo and cat droppings, and covered with graffiti.

“We spent a fair bit of time cleaning it up,” he said.

“It’s one of those classic old buildings that deserve new life.”

The architect intends to have a business lounge and reception area on the ground floor, workspaces on the middle floor and board rooms and other spaces, including a gallery, on the top floor.

There will be an opening in the roof to allow the light to pour in.

The talented architect, who has a strong interest in urban design, started his business in Bathurst 17 years ago. There are now also branches in North Strathfield and Penrith.

“We are building a young, energetic, professional team and to encourage these people to come to Bathurst, we need to create a fabulous work space,” he said.

Mr McBurney said setting up their head office in this particular location is part of his continuing investment in Bathurst.

In addition, it demonstrates his belief in creating urban areas filled with life and vitality.

“It’s within walking distance of home and right on the edge of the CBD,” he said.

“This corner is a really important introduction to the CBD in urban design terms.

“The development of this site with apartments and mixed businesses suits our business well.”

Mr McBurney said his development application was supported by the National Trust because of the adaptive re-use of an historical building.

“As we now embark on the restoration of the building it has been interesting to re-educate a new generation of tradesmen,” he said.

Mr McBurney said when they arrived on site they started throwing everything into skip bins.

He arrived the next day and started pulling things back out.

“Our approach is to take out only what we need to and find a new use for whatever we can,” he said.

An example of this is an old lift which used to convey the milk up and down from the third story. It doesn’t work, but it is a piece of the building’s history and will remain as a feature.

To the side, four names are listed as people who were permitted to operate the lift – R Cupitt, WR Ford, T Gibson and B Fardell.

Mr McBurney said he would love to talk to any of these people or their families to see if they can tell him a bit about its history.

“Like a lot of Bathurst’s heritage buildings it has a robust, raw quality that is irreplaceable in terms of materials and craftsmanship,” he said. “It’s time for it to find its next life,” Mr McBurney said.

He hopes, through this project, to demonstrate, not only the potential Bathurst’s heritage provides, but its true value.

“We hope to show what’s possible,” Mr Burney said.

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