The city of Sydney has approved the $27.5 million redevelopment of a church in Redern, designed by Candalepas Associates.
Known as the Cathedral of the Annunciation of Our Lady, the 173-year-old church is recognized as the center of Greek Orthodoxy in Australia and has been listed on the state heritage register as an example of ” early ecclesiastical conception” in the architecture of Edmond Blacket.
The church applied for development with the City of Sydney almost two years ago, which was eventually approved, after negotiations with the Heritage Office and Transport for NSW.
The works will include the conservation of the cathedral building, as well as the demolition of the existing theological building, modifications to the former St. Paul’s presbytery and the construction of two three-storey buildings.
The redevelopment will also include a new accommodation and office wing at St Andrew’s Theological College; a large hall which will increase the capacity of the site to receive important international guests; and a museum to preserve important objects collected and donated over the last century and to present exhibits of a religious nature.
The redesign will incorporate features of Orthodox architecture, including the use of domes, and the architect said the design will prioritize improving the presentation of the cathedral with any intrusive accretions on its facade removed .
In a statement to the local planning committee, architect Angelo Candalepas said he drew inspiration from his own Greek heritage to create a design that was ‘generous for the public’ and considered the important juxtapositions between the new and the old.
“I put everything I could imagine into this work, having drawn from my memory and that of my parents, to offer a work that I hope will be a seminal work for my office,” said Candalepas.
He added that the designs came “from a place of deep reverie” and aimed to communicate “something optimistic, something rare and something restful for our future”.
Candalepas worked on several religious institutions, including the Punchbowl Mosque and the Church of the Living God.