Sanitarium Health Food Factory
aka: EDGEWORTH RESORT AND SPA
date of commission: 1934
date of completion: 1938
design: Edward Fielder Bilson (1892-1985)
type: Industrial (IND)
address: 51 Main Street 3799, Warburton Hwy, Warburton
heritage: Docomomo, VicHeritage, NT
award: RVIASAM 1940
Editor fiche: Peter Johnson
Prize winning architecture in the ‘ultra modern style’ of the late 1930s.
In 1940 the complex was awarded the Street Architectural Medal by the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects.
Rectangular in the plan with a four level administration block
at one end. Steel framed with reinforced concrete floors. The factory was constructed at the eastern edge of the township of Warburton between the main road and the Yarra River. It is set in parkland of mature trees.
The complex was unusual because it incorporated its own hydro electric power generated supply which it shared with the Signs Publishing factory next door. The complex was an embodiment of the Church’s commitment to healthy living and the removal of church assets from major cities.
It is significant for its considerable aesthetic qualities, derived largely from the crisp architectural detailing and contrasting materials, the mature garden setting, and the focus of the buildings as dramatic punctuation in a predominantly forested setting. Indicating the growing community interest in health foods.
The Sanitarium Factory is significant for its skillful assembly of contrasting geometric, brick-clad forms and as an early example of the small group of non-residential buildings which successfully emulated European Modern architecture (particularly W M Dudok) and hence created a precedent for Australian post-war commercial and industrial architecture.