From the architect:
This building is conceptually a citadel on the hill, protecting the people of the area. It presents in an open and welcoming way to the public, while a separate entrance is provided for vulnerable victims of crime.
The building is carefully placed within an extensive grove of protected river redgum trees on the top of a gentle hill, separated from adjoining residential and commercial areas by landscape buffers. Its form consists of a series of intersecting masses clad primarily in weathering steel to reflect the semi-rural nature of the surrounding area. The elevated weathering steel functions as both solid cladding and perforated screening for sun shading and security privacy.
The building follows an extremely strict brief for a new 24-hour police station. During the design phase a number of changes were introduced including the new Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team facility for victims of domestic and sexual violence, which is the first in the state. The building is extremely efficiently designed for cost management and the contributions of both structural and mechanical engineers were instrumental in maintaining budget control.
The Mernda Police Station complies with State Government and Victoria Police guidelines for Sustainability. It also has the following unusual features for a large Design and Construct development:
- Extensive retention of native trees and vegetation
- Use of low VOC plywoods in interiors where possible
- Extensive shading of windows with perforated panels which double as protective screens.