CSV Security & Asset Program

In 2016 FMSA Architecture was engaged by Courts Services Victoria as Principal Consultant for the Asset & Security Redevelopment Program. The program focuses on the upgrade and expansion of 16 existing Victorian metropolitan and regional court complexes to ensure that the facilities meet the current CSV operational and security guidelines. The goal was to create a ‘safe and secure facility’ for all Courts staff and members of the public visiting the courts.

The Program was initiated to address the operational issues of the ageing assets which contributed to an inability to meet OHS requirements for staff, and security of all occupants in general, and in relation to new Family Violence objectives.

For many reasons Courthouses and registries are places of potential stress and conflict for users. Our design response responded to this issue in a consistent manner across all sites because of tailored consultation with CSV assets team and stakeholders at the individual sites. The construction and delivery of the upgrades will occur in live environments with minimal disruption to ongoing service activities and ensuring safety to all users.

As Principal Consultants, our scope of services ranged from the development and documentation of architectural solutions through project phases – from feasibility to contract administration – in liaison with CSV and the CSV appointed Project Manager, Johnstaff.

The program delivery was packaged in 2 tranches over a two-year period in line with funding requirements. Project scope ranged from minor upgrades, to the reconfiguration of internal spaces and minor extensions, to major alterations and additions.

With works undertaken concurrently at 16 existing courts facilities in regional and metropolitan Melbourne, our Design Team was structured to ensure efficient and consistent design and delivery. Led by a common Project Director and Project Leader, the projects were divided among supporting Project Architects based on location, scope and tranche.

Melbourne Children’s Court Cubby House

The Cubby House is a sanctuary for children attending the Melbourne Children’s Court in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services. Commissioned by Children’s Court Victoria, and facilitated by Court Service Victoria, it’s the second Cubby House in the program initiated by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

The solution was informed by the Children’s Court Victoria’s (CCV) vision to create an innovative children’s space that is safe, calming and engaging; learning from the pilot Cubby House program, and consultation with key stakeholders including the Alannah Madeline Foundation (AMF) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The redevelopment of the existing Child Room, an L-shaped space oriented towards DHHS observation room, presented security restrictions including no external play space. Collaboration with CCV staff fostered the Tree House concept inspired by the tradition of treehouses as places for retreat and imaginative play. With no external play area, the concept introduces the essence of the outdoors in the detailing and material selection including haptic wall murals featuring trees with moveable ‘leaf’ elements, floor treatments representing pebbles and grass, hidden nooks and concealed furniture.

Recessed themed pods for quiet, play, reading and AMF’s youth worker desk delineate the compact 36m2 space and maintain physical and acoustic security. The soothing material and colour palette draw inspiration from the colours and textures found in nature. Soft surfaces and corners support the sensory concept, the outcome being a safe children’s environment that provides the inspiration for children to create their own story.

The Cubby House includes many innovations designed to create a purposeful, functional and engaging environment. The compact 36 m2 space integrates multi-functional joinery, storage and play elements to maximise the user experience and spatial use. Storage is integrated throughout including under seats, lockable cabinets and recessed in bench kitchenette storage and bins. Display cabinets, and a retractable pull out table are integrated into the joinery to minimise loose furniture and play items without impacting observation lines.

Interactive and imaginative play is encouraged through recessed nooks and seating, display surfaces and removable shapes users can rearrange on the wall mural.

Richmond Rowing Club

Located on the banks of the Yarra River, the new extension of the Richmond Rowing Club creates an elegant bookend to the iconic recreational rowing shed precinct.

Jointly funded by the Richmond Rowing Club and Methodist Ladies’ College, FMSA was engaged to design the additions, doubling the existing footprint of the original 1960’s brutalist style concrete structure.

The new ‘wing’ incorporates expanded boat and equipment storage at ground level, with a new flexible space providing spaces for training, education and functions on the level above orientated around an outdoor deck overlooking the Yarra River and Melbourne City skyline.

Delineating between the past and the present, the new addition is characterised by the striking timber battened exterior and ‘jewel box’ effect created by the glazing on the upper level. The concrete-and-glass balcony ties together the original and the new, with the terrace providing much-needed outdoor space to take advantage of both the northern light and the unrivalled views of Melbourne.

Internally, the basket weave style plywood ceiling designed by FMSA in the previous refurbishment is continued across the new addition, contrasting the concrete block work and glazing.

The new Richmond Rowing Club addresses the city, the gardens and the river to create a subtle architectural expression of rowing and the sporting culture.

Photographer: Latreille Architectural Photography

Headspace Greensborough

In 2015 FMSA was engaged by Headspace and Mind Australia to design the fitout for their combined new youth services centre in Greensborough.  The health architecture solution is a result of extensive consultation with the Headspace and Mind Australia staff, and youth representatives utilise the services to ensure that the spaces met their specific needs and the wider organisational design standards and guidelines.

The centre comprises a variety of consulting and clinical rooms as well as shared meeting spaces and dedicated staff areas. The design of the fitout was configured to promote intuitive movement from the front door to reception, and from there on to a consulting room, clinical room or to a meeting room.

Using flexible furniture solutions, the central waiting area can be divided into a series of smaller alcoves for waiting or small group discussion; or reconfigured to create an open space for informal gatherings and events.

The following key design solutions have been integrated in the solution:

  1. Central waiting area contains flexible furniture that can be reconfigured to create alcoves in for waiting or small group discussion, or large group gatherings
  2. Group room contains flexible furniture and AV capability to accommodate a range of group activities
  3. Client accessible areas are designed to balance the needs of vulnerable clients with the safety and operational requirements of the staff.
  4. Colour palette incorporates branding colours of both organisations to create an inclusive and calming space.

Headspace Greensborough is the third project that FMSA has serviced for headspace following the success of the Geelong and Adelaide centres.

Photography: Rachael Dere Photography

Headspace Adelaide

In 2015 FMSA was engaged by Headspace to design the fitout for their new youth services centre in Adelaide.  Headspace provides mental health and wellbeing services to 12 to 25-year old’s with a focus on mental health, physical health, work and study support and alcohol and other drug services.

In response to extensive consultation with staff and users, our team designed and delivered a bright, sensitively planned solution that supports the specific needs of the young (12-25 year old) client group and the staff.

The new facilities also meet the rigorous demands of the headspace staff who provide much needed psychological and clinical services.  The design is a result of extensive consultation with the Headspace Adelaide staff to ensure that the spaces met their specific needs and the wider headspace organisational design standards and guidelines.

Utilising curved partitions to create spaces of different scales, and an uplifting colour palette, the centre included the design of medical consulting rooms, counselling rooms, group therapy, flexible education and gathering spaces, central reception and waiting areas, and staff offices and amenity spaces.

Recently the headspace Adelaide was recognised as a case study for best practice in designing spaces for young people in ‘Child & Adolescent Wellbeing & Violence Prevention in Schools’ published by Routledge.  The chapter and research titled ‘Enhancing the wellbeing of young people: The co-creation of a youth mental health space’ was undertaken in partnership with Flinders University, SWAPv Conference, headspace Onkaparinga.

The following key design solutions have been integrated in the solution:

  1. Staff office area includes 25% hot desks to accommodate several collocated agencies who use the space intermittently. The hot desks are located close to access stair, shared meeting room and phone booth. Acoustic wall panelling, workstation partitions and dedicated storage is provided for hot desk users.
  2. Group Kitchen doubles as a casual workspace with networked screen and sightlines to provide surveillance over common areas
  3. Client waiting areas are decentralised into 3 separate, discrete areas so they can be used as semi-private consultation spaces
  4. Group room contains flexible furniture and AV capability to accommodate a range of group activities
  5. Client accessible areas are designed to balance the needs of vulnerable clients with the safety and operational requirements of the staff.

Headspace Adelaide is the second project that FMSA has serviced for headspace including the Geelong and Greensborough centres.

Siles Health clinic reception area

Siles Health Clinic

Completed in 2017, FMSA Architecture was engaged to design and document the interior fitout solution for a new Siles Health imaging clinic at the Epworth Geelong Hospital in Waurn Ponds.

The client required a custom clinic design in line with their corporate branding and values to support the specialised women’s health services that they provide including ultrasound, genetic counselling, fetal cardiology and pathology collection.

The design solution developed by our interior designers subtly utilises the client’s corporate branding and colours with restraint to create a calm, inviting and modern clinic environment for patients and staff.

Branding is strategically positioned throughout the clinic to be viewed from the public area of the Epworth Geelong Hospital to minimise the visual noise in the modest clinic.

The rich purple of the Siles Health branding is used to create contrast against the neutral colour palette of cool whites and greys. Rather than introduce a competing feature colour, texture is used in the form of wall panels and fabrics to distinguish functions and create a softness in the space.

Photography: Rachael Dere Photography

Carpet Call Seven Hills

Following the successful delivery of the Carpet Call Victoria headquarters and timber and carpet warehouses, FMSA was again engaged by Carpet Call to deliver their new interstate headquarters and operational warehouse in New South Wales western suburb Seven Hills.

The Carpet Call NSW Warehouse and Headquarters is the companies largest facility to date at over 6,000 sqm warehouse floor space. Features a included a dedicated trade showroom, two levels of office space, warehouse, basement carpark for 58 vehicles, underground fire sprinkler and rain water tanks to maximise the developable area of the site.

Delivered via design and construct contract FMSA as Architect and Superintendent worked collaboratively with the client and builder Vaughan Constructions to deliver a quality solution that is consistent with the Carpet Call brand and service philosophy.

DS International Office & Warehouse

FMSA was engaged as Architects and Interior Designers to design and document to tender documentation the alteration and extension of the newly purchased DS International Victorian warehousing and office location in Scoresby.

The design intent was to create high-end front of house spaces for their visiting guests and highly functional and engaging back of house spaces for their staff. Inspiration was drawn from the DSI branding guidelines, as well as native Australian Flora to create a material palette that reflected a modern workplace.

FMSA worked with DSI to develop a design that increased the mezzanine floor area. The Client provided sketch of the proposed office layout with notes increasing the mezzanine floor area into the warehouse space. The works included schematic design, design development, documentation for the office space interiors.

PTEU Carlton Offices

The offices of the Plumbing Trades Employees Union (PTEU) are housed in the 1971 heritage registered ‘Brutalist’ building originally designed by Graeme Gunn Architects. The FMSA refurbishment is sympathetic to the original spirit of the design while revitalising the functional performance and use of the internal space.

The refurbishment concentrated on improving the functionality and accessibility of the entry and reception areas, the accounts area and boardroom. The entry was altered to create a more spacious foyer with custom built shelving units to display a wide range of brochures and information for union members.

Contemporary finishes enliven and refresh the PTEU image including stylish timber acoustic ceilings, copper clad reception counter and walls as a reference to the historic use of copper in the plumbing industry. The building works also include energy efficient lighting and the latest data and communication network cabling

FMSA Office reception area uses recycled cardboard paneling to shape the space and acoustic buffer

FMSA Architecture Office

In 2012 FMSA undertook a major refurbishment of our head office in North Melbourne.

Built in 1988, the existing two-storey office building underwent a major green retrofitting program and the addition of a new level. Today, the now energy efficient building offers three levels of individually tenanted office space. In designing the retrofitting upgrades, FMSA – as owner/tenants – set targets to improve the operational costs, user experience and energy efficiency of the building.

Operating as a working architectural studio and office for FMSA, the new level two office space is an example of successful energy efficient design and building systems in the workplace.

Sustainability was the key factor in the selection of materials and integration of passive and active energy efficient building systems. The upgrade of the existing mechanical systems improved the efficiency and quality of space for users on all levels of the building. The works have improved the NABERS rating from 2 stars to 5 stars.

182 Capel Street is a signatory of the CitySwitch and City of Melbourne 1200 Building program.


Photographer: Rhiannon Slatter Photography