The site is located to the southwest of Morpeth. It is part of the heritage listed Saint John College including key elements such as Closebourne House, Morpeth House, Calvary Garden and surrounding landscape having high heritage significant.
A masterplan was completed for the redevelopment of the entire site with significant emphasis on heritage preservation and adaptive reuse of the heritage buildings. Large portions of the northern and eastern part of the site are left untouched to preserve the landscape elements as well as the view out from Morpeth and Closebourne House. The southern and western parts of the site was developed for seniors living with larger farmlets and family homes forming to buffer in between. Morpeth House underwent an adaptive reuse process becoming the community hub of the village.
The masterplan allows the site to become a transition of built form. Housing subdivisions are located to the south and west, rural open space to the northeast with large farmlets and family home subdivisions located in between. This forms the basis of the transition from urban subdivisions to large lot to rural land.
The existing chapel was revitalized and being used as the community hall. The adjacent Calvary Garden was repaired and became an integral outdoor open space forming part of the community hall.
The existing Morpeth house was in poor state of repair. Whilst it has exemplified facades, it lacked defined point of entry and no relationship with the central courtyard being formed by the grouping of buildings which included the chapel and the later addition of the library building. The existing verandah provided excellent shading to the building to the north, but left the building exposed to the elements to the east and west.
The adaptive reuse of Morpeth House involved the restoration of the existing building. Creation of new entry through the courtyard into the reception and tea lounge, the arrival journey looping around the front of the building to allow visitors to take in the full views of the building prior to entering. The new addition of the lounge area and additional openings to the courtyard improve the relationship of the courtyard to the building and allows it to become an integral part of the building.
New verandah was added to the east and west of the building to enable shading to the building as well as creating outdoor space that forms the transition from the indoor to outdoor space. The addition of the eastern verandah is of significance as it affords excellent view over the rural landscape and forming the outdoor space to the tea lounge. The additions of fireplace to the eastern end of the tea lounge also enabled that space to be used all year round.
A new pool house and gym was constructed and aligned to the Calvary Garden. The pool house straddles an existing sandstone wall. This is denoted as a change in the floor tiling into the pool house itself.
All new work on the external elevations is sympathetic yet distictive to the existing buildings.
The adaptive reuse of existing buildings made a positive contribution to the sustainability of the project.
- Andreas Antoniades
- UDIA Award for Excellence in Seniors Independent Living
- UDIA National Awards for Excellence
Morpeth Road, Morpeth