Solving Dimmey’s construction challenges using Brick Inlay


The redevelopment of Dimmeys, Richmond’s heritage listed building, completed in 2015, transformed it into a modern mixed-use development connecting old and new.

Now known as Richmond Icon, the well-known historic building began life as a textile store in 1878, evolving to a quality goods store during the Depression and, most recently, to a prominent bargain store.

Armsby Architects created the new design, taking the already iconic building one giant leap ahead by carefully protecting the heritage fabric, while also reflecting the growing vibrancy of its location.

The entire redevelopment was not without it challenges. Heritage Victoria was closely involved, overseeing the preservation of key elements of the buildings exterior, where John Armsby created a new two storey western brick façade, similar to the existing facades to the east and north. So, the choice of brick and the historic style in which the brick arches and columns were re-created was critical. In addition, the tight and busy street location presented many logistical difficulties for Crema Constructions to minimise disruptions to the surrounding area. So speed of construction was vital.

This is where Robertson’s Façade Systems stepped in, providing the perfect solution - the think brick inlay system for precast concrete panels. Working closely with Cambar Precast, Robertson’s Façade Systems supplied the Pressed Red smooth brick facing tiles, custom made arch brick bond pattern to replicate the arches and columns of the historic building, and shared its knowhow to bring this dream to life.

The unique brick elements were created offsite and positioned quickly and efficiently in concrete precast panels. This approach allowed the panels to carry the load and provided genuine clay brick facades that Armsby Architects was seeking. And it also ensured that each panel was identical, so there were no issues with alignment of the brick bond.

The result, as you can see, is truly remarkable. The picture above shows the façade in Byron Street (adjacent to Swan Street) that is made from precast concrete using Pressed Red brick tiles.

For more information on the Dimmeys redevelopment, contact Robertson’s Façade Systems on +613 8199 9599.

Product: Pressed Red brick facing tiles

Architect: Armsby Architects

Builder: Crema Constructions

Precaster: Cambar Precast

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