2019 National Architecture Awards: National Commendation for Heritage

Sacred Heart Building Abbotsford Convent Foundation by Kerstin Thompson Architects.

Jury citation

Melbourne’s Abbotsford Convent is on Australia’s National Heritage List as the largest intact example of an institution dedicated to the care of “fallen and wayward women.” Works by Kerstin Thompson Architects to accommodate a vibrant multi-arts community within the Sacred Heart Building are bold and brave. An articulated philosophy of “leave well enough alone” has guided every design decision so that the existing fabric is respected, but reworked where necessary to support the building’s new uses. The result is an architecture that intrigues and enlightens. New elements – most visibly, a bridge connecting one part of the building to another – are distinctive and united through material (almost exclusively galvanized steel and light-filtering mesh). The project serves as an admirable precedent for further works at Abbotsford Convent and for the broader approach to heritage fabric.

Sacred Heart Building Abbotsford Convent Foundation is located in Abbotsford, Victoria, and built on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation.

Credits

Architect
Kerstin Thompson Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Kerstin Thompson, Erica Diakoff, Scott Diener, William Samuels
Consultants
Acoustic engineer Marshall Day Acoustics
Builder FDC
Building services Umow Lai
Building surveyor Hendry
Conservation specialist Robin Hodgson and Associate
Curator/arts and heritage consultant Tracey Avery
Heritage consultant Bryce Raworth
Materials conservation Caroline Kyi
Project coordinator Scott Walker
Project manager Stephen Rogers
Quantity surveyor Harlock Consulting
Site manager Greg Broadhead
Structural engineer Kersulting
Tile and ceramic conservation Penny Byrne
Site details
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Culture / arts, Heritage
Project Details
Status Built
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