Marinoto House, Stage 2, Mercy Hospital - McCoy Wixon Architects | ArchiPro

Marinoto House, Stage 2, Mercy Hospital

Marinoto House (Category 2 Historic Place status) stands to the right of the main entrance to Mercy Hospital and is one of the most striking and prominent buildings on the hospital campus. Marinoto House is a renowned landmark feature and provides strong historical and visual architecture. The house was built in 1878 and is made from Port Chalmers Bluestone and Oamaru Stone. The house and extensive grounds were purchased by the Otago Hospital Board in the 1940's and was used as a convalescent home. In 1960, the property was sold to the Sisters of Mercy, who were the founding organization of today's Mercy Hospital. Mercy Hospital buildings was subsequently built on the site.

The brief for Stage 2 was to restore/ refit the existing 1st floor spaces and refit for a change of use to Administration offices and Mercy Hospital Boardroom. Some existing building fabric, both internally and externally, was compromised by weathering, subsidence, and poor past alterations. Several rooms had been compromised by the installation of timber framed partitions and lowered ceilings. Original lath and plastered ceilings were in poor condition and much of the original plastered trim was missing. Many of the spaces naturally lent themselves to re-use inline with the client's brief. New services were required to be run throughout the 1st floor. Strategies were developed to deal with encapsulating these services within the building fabric ensuring almost nil visual impact.

Mercy Hospital were looking to create a long-term asset by funding the restoration of Marinoto House for future generations. The restoration is to benefit the primary healthcare community in Dunedin. Day to Day, the building would be used for public and private professional development, for events such as seminars, meetings, conferences and training with associated break out/hospitality areas and ancillary spaces. The brief for Stage 2 was to restore/refit the existing 1st floor spaces of Marinoto House and refit for a change of use to Administration offices and Mercy Hospital Boardroom. Ablution upgrades and new services integration were also required. The driving design focus was to integrate heritage finishes and construction techniques as a backdrop to some modern interventions enabling the spaces to be utilised as a modern office environment into the future.

The aim was to restore the building, preserving as many of the original features and building fabric as possible: 

i. Existing timber flooring was lifted in part to allow for new services to be run out of sight. 

ii. Modern insulation was installed where possible. 

iii. Traditional plastering techniques and materials were utilised to add back detail that had previously been removed. 

iv. Traditional wall papers were imported from the United Kingdom. 

v. Modern plumbing fixtures with a traditional aesthetic were utilised. 

vi. New internal doors and joinery were manufactured locally by craftsmen with strict reference to original timber species and detailing. 

vii. Door hardware was remanufactured to match original.

NZIA Southern Architecture Award 2021 - Heritage

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