Try a new search >

'Portico', Scots Church Redevelopment
by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects



Concept framework The winning scheme in the City of Sydney (CoS) Design Excellence Competition, this project explored the redevelopment of the disused, heritage-listed Scots Church in Sydney's CBD. The project involved the conversion of the former church building and its airspace into residential units with some commercial uses at lower levels. A stratum containing the original church auditorium has been retained and restored in a separate commission. Public and Cultural Benefits The six-storey heritage building by Rosenthal Rutlidge and Beattie (1927-30) was originally designed to have an additional 12 floors but during the Depression this scheme was abandoned. The new development uses the original support structure and reflects the neo-Gothic massing of the original proposal, finally taking on the size and intensity of the usage originally planned for it. Neither environmental sustainability nor heritage protection was included in the commercial developer's brief, but they were strong generators of the form of the building. The heights of the towers follow the CoS recession plane, maintaining sunlight to Wynyard Park. Relationship of Built Form to Context The tower forms of the new building utilise sandstone colours that relate to the restored stone base, as well as expanses of seamed zinc and glazing. The interplay of solid and light, zinc and glass, the irregular rhythm of coloured glazing panels, blinds and shutters, creates an urban elevation that reflects both its residential use and relationship to the heritage building below. Filling in the valuable space between the top of the towers and the recession plane are a series of follies, maximizing

the site's floor space. The follies negate the forceful diagonal geometry of the CoS recession plane. Program Resolution The developer wanted the maximum number of high quality apartments. To achieve this a system of two-level units was developed by arranging corridors and lift access at every second floor. Integration of Allied Disciplines Both environmental and heritage considerations were fundamental from the outset. Refer listed consultants. Cost/Value Outcome GFA = 18,900m2 (including 146 apartments) Cost = $60m ($3,174/m2) Given the constrained, complex site and the restoration of the neglected Scots Church, the design provided good economy for selling high value apartments in the CBD. The 25m deep carstacker (125 carspaces) cut into bedrock under the existing church using mining technology cost around $3m ($24,000/car). Economy was obtained by reusing most of the original structure and finishes, compact and efficient planning, thermal fašade systems, a detailing system suitable for commercial contracting, and a mechanical carstacker. Sustainability Enclosed apartment wintergardens act as an acoustic buffer, passive solar warming/cooling system, and let daylight penetrate deep into the apartments, reducing air-conditioning requirements. This also meant the cooling tower area on level 11 could be significantly reduced, allowing the addition of an extra apartment. This profit offset the cost of additional wintergarden glazing. In retaining the existing steel, stone and concrete structure, energy was not expended in demolishing, removing and replacing energy-intensive materials. Response to Client and User Needs See above text.

Sydney, NSW
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Contact address:
Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Project Team
Project architect: Paul Rolfe
Project architect: Wolfgang Ripberger
Project architect: Trevor Williams
Design architect: Tim Greer
Project manager: Roger O'Sullivan
Project manager: Brian Zulaikha
Project manager: Westpoint Constructions
Developer: Westpoint Developments
Electrical consultant: Donnelley Simpson Cleary
Mechanical consultant: Hyder Consultants
Hydraulic consultant: DCH Hydraulics
Environmental consultant: Hyder Consultants
Builder: Westpoint Constructions
Architectural Assistant: Ruth Leiminer
Architectural Assistant: Yannick Goldsmith
Architect: Kon Vourtzoumis
Architectural Assistant: Angela Rheinlander
Quantity Surveyor: Westpoint Constructions
Planning and BCA: City Plan Services
Engineer: Van der meer Bonser
Heritage consultant: Brian McDonald and Associates
Building surveyor: Rygate & co

Photographs by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, text by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects