St George’s College Chapel & Dining Hall

Crawley, Western Australia, 2010-2012

Palassis Architects have been heritage architects to St George’s College since 2001, when we prepared a master plan to guide the development of the College. The College was the first UWA residential college, constructed in the 1930s, and is a well-known and regarded landmark on the Crawley riverside.

Both the Chapel and Dining Hall were severely damaged by the storm that tore through the western suburbs in 2010, destroying roof tiles and external copper work, and resulting in water damage to ceilings and walls in both buildings. Consequent conservation works included full exterior works: new roof tiles, insulation, copper rainwater goods and dormers. Internally all walls surfaces and timber surfaces have been repaired and re-finished. Services have been upgraded fully in both, including power, lighting and fire safety systems. In the Dining Hall additional works have included solar control blinds, air conditioning and a specialist directional loudspeaker system.

The works required structural repair as well as traditional construction skills.  The copper work was executed with folded, soldered and rolled joints – skills rarely seen today. The masonry was repaired invisibly, cleaned gently by hand and delicately patched by artisan teams. Leadlight repairs stabilised the stained glass windows, whilst the iron windows were eased and made operable, as have wall vents. The timberwork was hand scraped, revealing the jarrah work below years of dirt and grime and accumulated coatings – all carefully refinished by hand with traditional materials. The work was painstaking, the materials are all delicate and only the gentlest of techniques could be employed.

Program
  • Internal and external conservation works
Client

St George’s College Inc.

Status
  • Complete
Roles
  • Preparation of conservation plan
  • Design, documentation and administration of internal and external conservation works
  • Design, documentation and administration of services upgrade
Awards
  • 2013 Australian Institute of Architects (WA Chapter) Western Australian Architecture Awards – Architecture Award