The original charm of both buildings had been severely compromised by decades of insensitive adaptation. However, the developers recognised the historic significance and future potential of the pair and embarked upon a two-year project to adaptively restore them to their former grandeur.
"Development Advisory Services led a team of talented architects, engineers, builders and craftspeople on the mission to restore, preserve, upgrade and adapt the two buildings into a set of high-end apartments, including two expansive penthouses," says McKenna.
"Our aim was to restore the buildings to their original state, reversing intermediary modifications that had compromised their elegance, while at the same time upgrading them to meet the highest standards of comfort, access, safety, energy efficiency, and privacy."
To bring the original structures up to seismic requirements while retaining the heritage facades required several structural steel cross bracing diaphragms, ceiling diaphragms and floor diaphragms.
Connected by a new glass lobby, the restored, strengthened and reinvented buildings now host six distinctly different high-end apartments, on the 1030m² site. There are two apartments downstairs in each building with sprawling penthouses on the floors above. The concept was to let the original heritage values of the buildings shine through on the apartment interiors despite the adaptations required for their residential use.
One of the two new build elements on the project along with the contemporary side garage entry the linking atrium was designed in structural glass and built using lightweight construction techniques so the heritage elements remained dominant. The atrium includes a lift and access stairs to each floor.