#5 / 14 Leura Street, Nedlands, Western Australia; t: +61 (8) 9386 4615; e: studio@mcdfarchitects.com.au

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UNDA Broadway Campus (NSW)

Completed 2006

The restoration and adaptive re-use of the heritage significant but derelict and under occupied St. Benedict's complex of buildings to become the core campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney brings back intense public use to an historic Chippendale institution and place that had fallen on hard times. The site is adjacent to UTS and close to Sydney University, at the centre of Sydney's premier educational precinct and has given the university a location and gravitas that new buildings in an outer suburban location could never have provided. The university has built on the history of the earlier institution and the project is tangible proof of the value that the adaptive re-use of heritage buildings can provide to the occupier and the community.

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The site consisted of an 1845 church designed by Pugin and Munro with 1940/41 changes by Austin McKay, an 1888/89 school designed by Tappin Gilbert & Dennehy, a 1922/23 convent and school wings designed by Soden and Glancey, and a 1940/41 presbytery designed by Austin McKay. The development methodology applied has evolved during recycling and restoration of over fifty heritage important buildings in the university’s Fremantle and Broome campuses. Most of these buildings have been recycled for less cost than an equivalent new building. The original relationship of built form to context has been carefully preserved but also reinforced by the restoration works, interior design, and landscaping. A major planning requirement was the need to provide internal flow to buildings that had originally designed to be isolated, this included construction of a circulation core linking eight disparate floor levels.