The vision for the project was to conserve the key buildings in the complex and secure its future through a site-wide regeneration process. The grounds had been taken over by carparking, the site had lost its sense of cohesion and the buildings were in poor condition. Removal of the Princess Mary Club (1926) and former ANA Jones factory (1938) enabled construction of a new office tower designed by COX Architects for the east side of the lot, spanning the Manse and activating the whole site, laneway and frontages. New landscaping has created an enticing green space, and uses natural desire lines through the site to re-engage the city centre with Wesley Place’s significant group of buildings.
The Church has undergone major conservation works — extensive bluestone and sandstone repairs, localised repointing, and replacement of slate, flashings and copper gutters. The decorative carved stonework on the pinnacles has been conserved or replaced. The stained-glass windows have been cleaned, leadwork repaired and protective mesh installed. Extensive repairs to the pressed cement parapet balustrade and capping included structural strengthening. Inside the church, works included crack and plaster repair, and re-painting.
Conservation works to the Schoolhouse, Caretaker’s Cottage and Manse focused on the original stonework, brickwork, render, timber, glazing and slate roofing. Unsympathetic later additions/alterations have been removed. Forensic investigation of the fabric and photographic material informed the reinstatement of the cast iron rainwater heads and diamond pattern leadlight windows to the Schoolhouse. Hard plaster ceilings were consolidated and sash windows repaired, along with strengthening of the timber flooring.
As the project involved adaptive reuse, it triggered essential DDA and statutory code compliance requirements. New services have been carefully integrated, a new lift installed in the Schoolhouse and structural pinning carried out to two wall leaves of the Manse for seismic strengthening.
We also designed a site-wide interpretation scheme for the heritage aspects of the complex. Significant elms and an olive tree have been retained and integrated into the new landscaping, ensuring their ongoing viability as part of the public realm. Sections of the original masonry boundary wall (Little Lonsdale Street) were dismantled and reconstructed using the original materials. The bluestone fence plinth and the gate posts have been conserved, and cast iron pickets replicated from castings of remnant elements.
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