WHAT IS SIGNIFICANT? The Footscray Psychiatric Centre (exterior and interiors), paving, ramps, stairs and landscaping immediately surrounding the building as well as fixtures and fittings attached to the building at the time of registration.
HOW IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
The Footscray Psychiatric Centre is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria. It satisfies the following criterion for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register:
Importance to the course, or pattern, of Victoria's cultural history.
Importance in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a class of cultural places and objects.
WHY IS IT SIGNIFICANT?
The Footscray Psychiatric Centre is significant at the State level for the following reasons:
The Footscray Psychiatric Centre is historically significant as an important example of a facility that emerged from changes in the understanding and treatment of mental illness in the late twentieth century. It demonstrates this phase, known as deinstitutionalisation, which was characterised by a move away from treatment in large psychiatric hospitals, towards treatment within the community. This is evident in the physical fabric of Footscray Psychiatric Centre, through its comparatively small size, location separate from but adjacent to an existing public hospital and its internal layout of rooms designed for short residential stays, treatment and day-to-day activities. The phase of deinstitutionalisation is of historical importance to the State of Victoria, having had a profound effect on the lives how mental illness is understood and treated. [Criterion A]
The Footscray Psychiatric Centre is architecturally significant as a notable example of a community mental health facility. It was purpose built to perform this function and demonstrates the principal characteristics of the class through its size, siting and internal layout. It is also architecturally significant for its dramatic Brutalist design which exhibits the principal characteristics of the style, including use of textured concrete, exterior expression of interior features and highlighting of building services and paths of travel. It is noteworthy for its particularly monolithic interpretation of the style. It is an important example of the use of the Brutalist style in Victoria and a key example of the employment of the style by the Victorian Public Works Department for a major institutional work. [Criterion D]