When they first moved back from the UK in 2000, Kimberlie Furness and her husband Michael immediately spotted the old Kindergarten in Ranelagh Drive and imagined building their dream practice there. The Kinder had been part of the village community for almost thirty years but had been vacant for the last few years.”
It was the perfect location for a healing centre; in a residential zone, just across the road from the shops and cafes. They even drew up plans which included a Chiropractic pavilion, Japanese Tea House and relaxation space. They finally had the opportunity to purchase the property in 2007.
Michael had always loved working with timber, stone and other natural materials and was inspired by architects who built timber structures such as Renzo Piano’s cultural centre in Noumea and the buildings of Gregory Burgess on the Peninsula.
He was keen to design a more contemporary building for Lotus that was unique, used mainly renewable resources and made a statement.
Building began in November 2011 with the erection of the impressive Castlemaine stone entrance, built by a Scottish Stonemason. All the timberwork in the façade was laid by Kimberlie’s brother David and friend Glenn and was plantation sourced spotted gum and white Cyprus. Geothermal coils had been drilled 30 metres into the ground a few years earlier (at great expense) in readiness to provide heating and cooling to the building. Unfortunately they failed, apparently due to soil conditions and had to be removed. They have been replaced by the most efficient air conditioning system available, together with an 8 kilowatt solar array to help minimise the carbon footprint.
Other sustainable features include double glazing throughout the building, low energy and LED lighting and a rear underground tank with capacity for 5000 litres of stormwater collection/ 15000 litres of rainwater collection from the roof . High spec. insulation in all plaster and rendered walls further ensures energy efficiency.
The lower storey was completed in November 2012, ready for Lotus Chiropractic to move from its shop front location in Mt Eliza Way to the new purpose built healing centre. Internal features include the floor to ceiling ‘tree of life’ sculpture, contrasting sharply against the dark curved corridor walls, with the 2 x 2 metre black and white image of B. J. Palmer as the dramatic back drop (one of the founders of the Chiropractic profession).
The upper floor provides space for complementary natural healthcare practitioners, who share a likeminded vision of a team approach to optimal health.