A place to mobilise, unite and support communities

Refugee Resource Hub

A place of welcome, community and support, helping people seeking asylum to realise their human rights and secure livelihoods.

Jill Garner

Principal, Garner Davis Architects

Bates Smart and Garner Davis Architects’ work with Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is one such example, refurbishing an existing 800sqm building generously purchased for the ASRC to serve as their new Integrated Services Hub.

The Dandenong hub provides much needed support to the state’s highest population of people seeking asylum by bringing together a range of services under one roof, including legal aid, foodbank, counselling, education and employment programs.

Transforming a dark and internalised two-storey office building that had been extended various times across its life to turn it into a light-filled pleasant place was a significant design challenge. Along with fresh paint and new carpet, skylights and windows were installed to open up the space, while new lift access connected 3 of the 5 levels. The façade’s drab brown bricks were rendered to leave a soft charcoal grey texture and tone, with parts given a vibrant spray-finish façade by Melbourne artist Ash Keating.

The project received generous support from corporate partners with planning consultation from Ratio, structural engineering consultancy from Irwinconsult (now part of WSP), landscape architecture form Enlocus, building certification from Philip Chun, access consultation from Architecture and Access, land surveying from Intrax Consulting Engineers and risk assessment from Greencap. Many other suppliers generously contributed materials and goods.

Beyond providing architectural and interior design services on a pro bono basis, Bates Smart continued to offer support to the ASRC’s team, while coordinating with commercial partners and assisting with managing the project until its completion.

The project has evolved out of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Dandenong to become the Refugee Resource Hub powered by the ASRC.




Asylum Seeker Resource Centre


  • Garner Davis Architects


Dandenong | Bunurong Country, Australia






800 sqm


Sean Fennessy