A dignified building now sees its third incarnation; from ornate (1902) to art deco (1939) and in 2015 to modern functionality. Newspaper presses are removed and Press Hall is reborn as Franklin Restaurant, Betsey Café and an architect’s studio. An original Ford Motor Company threshold remains, acknowledging an early occupant. With the artistic use of concrete the industrial historical memories are preserved: what we see now are modern eateries, with their hard-trowelled and sealed concrete floors with hydronic heating, Tasmanian oak timberwork and off-form concrete ceilings with LED lighting nested into the exposed steel beams. Steel-framed windows are sash style, in keeping with the building’s origins.
This is an ingenious transition from last-century industrial to 21st century commercial, using innovative concepts tailored for a unique site. Standouts are the huge pivoting door and the new restaurant bar — vertical concrete castings made in situ and surmounted by a cantilevered concrete top. The project included fit-out for the restaurant, the bakery and, on the mezzanine floor, the architect’s studio.
Year Built: 2014
Architect / Designer: Core Collective
Engineer: Gandy & Roberts
Building Surveyor: Pitt & Sherry
Project Manager: Jason Wagner
Project Foreman: Mike Fitzgerald and Tristan Birch
Photographer: Kraig Carlstrom Photography