Midland Auctioneer’s Heritage Office

This restoration and conversion of a heritage warehouse into an office for Smith Broughton Auctioneers has brought about a striking building rich with interesting artefacts that reveal historical stories. The challenge to restore and bring new life to the Midland artillery store building brought many surprises as the clients enthusiastically partnered with us to restore and highlight the history of the building.


The condition of the original brick building was quite poor, the external timberwork had deteriorated from exposure to the elements for over 100 years and the windows, barge boards, and western former ‘train platform’ lining all needed repair and some sections that were too weathered have been replaced. An area we have had to make significant repairs to is the main roof under-purlins and rafters, which have sagged significantly over the years, with some areas sagging up to 30mm. In order to rectify this problem, we have retained the original rafters in place, and bolted new treated pine rafters against the original, reset the ridge with the new rafters and bolted the new and original sagged rafters, to take the ‘sag’ out of the roof. We have also provided new collar ties and tie-down strapping to ensure the roof meets current by-laws and standards.


Great care was taken to find the right balance between salvaging as much of the building as possible, while assessing what had to be completely replaced for safety & function. The careful restoration of original elements took time to ensure the building retained its character.


Most of the materials selected are contemporary materials – glass steel, aluminium and dark grey (Monument) Maxline cladding – to contrast and compliment the natural, somewhat rustic original materials (face brick, concrete floors, dressed natural timber) with sharp, slick modern materials. The new main office space on the First Floor is a large open plan space which sits under the original tongue & groove jarrah lined raked ceiling. We provided rooflights through this ceiling lining to provide the space with natural light. Offices sit around this main space – again sitting under the main cathedral timber roof. These are lined and enclosed as ‘boxes’ that sit within the main space, so the whole cathedral ceiling space is appreciated. New dark steel clad ‘boxes’ rise out of the roof to the east and west providing additional space and outlook to the hills and to the west. The large original timber trusses were retained and highlighted within the new office space. The contrast of all these elements tells the story of the original building as well as making the new works easy to see and understand.


During the project delivery, we were shown numerous historical items by our clients (such as antique auctioneer’s gavels, anvils, a scooter, tools and machinery, a petrol bowser, and military buttons) some of which were showcased in the final product.


If you are interested in how this heritage building was carefully restored, head to our YouTube Channel to see some great drone videos of the construction progress provided by Smith Broughton Auctioneers.