Boot Factory

April 17, 2024

Architect: Tomek Archer – Archer Office Pty Ltd
Builder: Shiavello Constructions
Location: Bondi Junction NSW

Situated in the heart of Bondi Junction, The Boot Factory is a heritage-listed building, originally constructed  in 1892 as a shoe-making factory.  Partridge, in collaboration with Archer Office is nearing completion of this exciting adaptive reuse project that is transforming the building into a dynamic civic innovation hub for Waverly Council.

Vacant since 2007, the Boot Factory underwent significant remedial works in 2013 to address structural concerns caused by degrading timber and masonry elements. Despite initial debates over demolition, community efforts succeeded in preserving the landmark, setting the stage for its revitalization.

Construction for the adaptive reuse projects has progressed steadily since 2021 and the project is on track to reach completion within the next six months.

A key aspect of the project involves connecting the existing Mill Hill Community Centre to The Boot Factory through a new passageway equipped with a lift. This integration link aims to create a cohesive facility, augmenting the usability of the Norman Lee Place courtyard as a valuable community asset. Additionally, the introduction of a welcoming café at the Spring Street entrance encourages public interaction with the renovated landmark.

A notable feature of the project is the reconstruction of the vaulted roof, comprised of 52 tapering Glulam beams supported by a new perimeter reinforced concrete ring beam cast on top of the existing masonry walls to resist tension forces with a compression steel ring beam at the apex. This structure accommodates a grand 2.4-meter by 3.6-meter skylight, flooding the interior with natural light.

The Mill Hill Centre also benefits from the project, receiving upgrades such as a new external rooftop terrace structure, large height sliding doors, and feature glass panels. The surrounding environment is further enhanced with the addition of precast concrete seating and landscaping, while a steel and timber deck has been creatively designed to protect the adjacent tree’s root system.

Render of proposed skylight

Construction of skylight in progress

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