Banff makes a new entrance

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CIA has been providing the ongoing cleaning, garden and property maintenance to the Banff, a heritage, mixed use apartment building on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda since 2009. The Owners Corporation Committee (OCC) wanted to upgrade the front entrance which was much in need of repair and in doing so take the opportunity to redesign the whole area to be more aesthetically pleasing and increase security to the building.

The OCC provided a brief of what they wanted to achieve and CIA then presented concept drawings that then informed the scope of works. Construction costs were sought with CIA managing the entire process through to completion. The Owners Corporation Management (OCM) was kept up to date with the progress and the OCC had final approval of every phase.

It was decided to retain the steel canopy structure but extend and restore it, while a new fence and gate were designed with an Art Deco influence and brought forward on the block to align with the cafe side entrance. This improved security as the letterboxes were then positioned behind the gate that was better lit and closer to the open forecourt. Garden beds were removed and replaced with bluestone paving and in-ground mature October Glory Maples and steel grill surrounds. These have been up-lit creating an exciting and dramatic effect at night. The canopy was replaced and the building given it’s number and name to the front facia, adding gravitas to the streetscape.

Steps and terraces were created to replace the sloped entrance and the garden beds at the rear of the entrance rebuilt in bluestone with plantings of Star Jasmine. The extensive front garden that runs the length of the residence pathway was refreshed with much needed pruning and infill planting.

During the initial excavation works when the entire front entrance was removed and dug up, subsoil infrastructure was found to have failed in many cases due to degradation of pipes and tree root invasion. This had likely been creating issues for years with the cause being suspected but concealed. All damaged drainage was replaced and CIA worked with the local council who installed root barriers for future prevention. While this marginally delayed the works and increased costs the immediate and long term benefits to the aging building are immense.

The completed project has been heralded a huge success by all stakeholders including the local community with owners and agents acknowledging the restoration works have added value to the property and individual lots.

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