Goonoo Goonoo Station Chapel & School
The Chapel, Schoolhouse and Kitchen Building at Goonoo Goonoo Station were originally constructed during the latter period of the 1800’s. They sat perpendicular to each other in plan but were never connected, however they always shared a common use in teaching whether it be children or patrons on a Sunday.
Fast forward to 2015 and Goonoo Goonoo Station was undergoing a prolific restoration process where the owners had commissioned TKD Architects to breathe new life into these three buildings. Chase Projects were called upon to provide the expertise to execute the required remediation and insertion of the newly designed sitting room and amenities to the rear of the original three dwellings. This interconnected the Chapel, Schoolhouse and Kitchen buildings together to form a space with a new lease of life and purpose.
The Chapel building unfortunately sat at the base of a hill, this had forced decades of surface water and salinity from ground minerals towards the foundations of the building. The unmaintained roof gutters had failed many years ago with these two elements combined, and the reactive soil that the Chapel was positioned within, creating an environment for the footings and walls of the building to move excessively over its lifetime. As with many restoration processes you need to start in the ground and work your way up and this particular building was no exception. The mammoth process of completely underpinning the entire footings to the Chapel building were tediously required. Particular emphasis and effort needed to take place to ensure that the walls above the existing stone footings were not compromised any further due to their fragile state. Brick remediation and brick tying, with stringent structural engineers details, needed to be executed to allow the shell of the building to be re-stabilised. The whole interior floor had been eaten out by termites and needed to be replaced. The roof members and original roof shingles, chipped from stumps cut from local yellow box hardwood trees, were still in position and needed to be worked around for the installation of the new galvanised roof iron to provide a new protective lid. Structural steel was required to be placed internally within the roof space and connected to the brickwork at each gable end to support the existing failed roof and ceiling below, and tie the two long external walls together due to an internal wall being removed at the architects request. The restoration of all of the windows and doors with their lead lighting, period details, and Australian Cedar construction were an art. Modern inclusions for this building were air conditioning, an audio visual system and a sub floor ventilation system to ensure the sub space remained stable.
The Schoolhouse, which sat perpendicular to the Chapel, somehow had weathered its years much better and sat in its landscape in a much stronger form. This would be due to the fact that the original design of this building had large eaves around its perimeter protecting the structural elements of the dwelling to a better extent. All windows and doors were able to be salvaged and remediated along with all of the interior linings to the Schoolhouse section of the dwelling. The brick gable to the Vestry end of the Schoolhouse needed to be tied back with structural steel bracing into the surrounding walls to stop rotation and the eventual collapsing to this element of the building. A partial rebuild to the entrance door of the Vestry and its local foundation were required. A new heritage galvanised Z600 roof was introduced along with a rebuild of the west facing rear verandah to ensure the large protective eave could weather another century of Australia’s extreme weather conditions.
The Kitchen building which sits to the rear of the Chapel and beside the Schoolhouse, had to be carefully dismantled piece by piece due to its extensively derelict and weathered state. This building posed a danger to site workers if kept in its existing form. As part of the dismantling process the building needed to be mapped and located accurately so that all features, its skewed plan position and warped walls could be reintroduced once all of the fabric was reclaimed. Desalinating bricks, salvaging original rafters and windows, locating heights and depths of fireplace hearths were elements critical to the authenticity of the reconstruction to reflect the original buildings aesthetic. The Kitchen building is the only building at Goonoo Goonoo Station which was completely dismantled and reinstated under Chase Projects guidance.
When opening up heritage buildings like this, scope can increase quickly due to signs that are not present at first glance. An initial idea can be formed but only after very thorough investigation and a deep understanding of building methods can costs and time frames be provided to clients. A cost effective method and diligent approach is required to ensure that a high standard and expectations are met. We believe that these buildings have had all of these assets applied through out their recent remediation by Chase Projects and now sit beautifully in their original surroundings.
Architect / TKD architects