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Published: Wednesday, August 06, 2008

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Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment

"The winning scheme in the City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition, this project explored the redevelopment of the disused, heritage-listed Scots Church in Sydney’s CBD." says Tonkin Zulaikha Greer on Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment.

By: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects

Architecture-Page | Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Western Facade.

Project details

  • Project Name: Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment
  • Location of Site: Sydney, Australia
  • Design Team: Tim Greer, Paul Rolfe, Wolfgang Ripberger, Trevor Williams, Georgia Webb, Ruth Leiminer, Yannick Goldsmith, Kon Vourtzoumis, Roger O'Sullivan, Brian Zulaikha, John Chesterman, Angela Rheinlander
  • Project Type: Residential (Apartments)
  • Client: Westpoint Corporation
  • Contractor/s: Brian McDonald & Associates - Heritage Consultant, Hyder Consultants - Environmental + Mechanical Consultants, Donnelley Simpson Cleary - Electrical Consultants, DCH Hydraulics - Hydraulic consultant, City Plan Services - Planning and BCA, Van der meer Bonser - Engineer,
  • Westpoint Constructions - Builder
  • Built-up Area: 18900 sq. mt.
  • Cost of Construction: $68 Million
  • Date of completion: December 2005

Architecture-Page | Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Aerial View from South-West.

Words from the architect

The winning scheme in the City of Sydney 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 the lower levels. A stratum containing the original church auditorium of 2500 seats has been retained by the Church and was restored in a separate commission.

Architecture-Page | Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Southern Elevation.

The architectural expression is based on a series of towers, continuing the original 1926 Rosenthal, Rutledge and Beattie concept, created by the sequence of double storey apartment boxes continuing the proportions of the Perpendicular Gothic facade below, emphasizing the building's verticality and silhouette.

Architecture-Page | Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
View from York Street, Sydney.

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, combined with the irregular rhythm of coloured glazing panels, blinds and shutters, creates an urban elevation that reflects both its residential use and its relationship to the heritage building below.

To achieve the maximum number of high quality apartments, a system of two-level units was developed by arranging corridors and lift access at every second floor. The whole building is within the sloping height plane, which preserves solar access to Wynyard Park, south of the site. The elevation created by the sequence of double storey apartment boxes continues the proportions of the Perpendicular Gothic facade from below, emphasising the building's verticality and silhouette.

Architecture-Page | Portico - The Scots Church Redevelopment by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Existing Second Assembly Hall now Heritage Apartment.

A series of sky follies - sculptural roof forms - lean over each of the rectilinear 'towers', the northernmost roof looking forward to the Harbour. The facade of the double storey apartments augments views to the city and sky from within and incorporates louvre banks for natural ventilation, operable sliding doors and shading blinds. The enclosed wintergardens act as both acoustic buffer and passive solar warming system, allowing daylight to penetrate deep into the apartments. Louvres in the ceiling plenums collect sun-warmed air rising behind the wintergarden facades and direct the air outside. This serves as a natural cooling system, reducing the air-conditioning requirements of the apartments.

Awards:

  • 2000 First Prize and Commission
  • 2006 RAIA NSW Multiple Housing Award

Credits

  • Text: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
  • Photographs: Brett Boardman / Michael Nicholson

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