An ensemble of new and existing, locally significant heritage buildings create a complex of 13 dwellings around a shared courtyard. Master-planned by KTA, Church on Napier comprises the adaptive reuse of the 1920s church hall on Little Napier Street (KTA) and the 150-year-old Presbyterian church on Napier Street, (James Stockwell Architects) as well as the new 3-storey building of 6 apartments (KTA). Both the church and hall are listed with the City of Yarra as of local significance and covered by a heritage overlay. The project offers an example of ways to adaptively reuse repurpose the magnificent and substantial buildings of the past for contemporary living and for ways to gently densify while retaining our built heritage and creating precious landscape opportunities.
KTA and James Stockwell Architects worked with the character of the traditional buildings, and proportions of the heritage fabric, to find innovative ways of adapting old forms for new uses. Retention of the scale and the preservation of the church fabric and patina was paramount in the approach. Limited restoration and modest changes were made, such as new windows within existing openings, the more significant works included the introduction of roof terraces within the existing roof form. Each passage and turn are met with heritage detail, uncrowded and standing apart from the new work.