Update 1 The Church of St Sophia in South Paddington is a significant building, found on the New South Wales State Heritage List. At 91 years old, it was time for this building to get revitalised.
Our engineers assessed the condition of the building and began their plan to stabilise the site, starting with the front wall facing Dowling Street. The front wall was demolished and a new wall was constructed, meaning the front wall that was once deteriorating and discoloured, is now radiant and refreshed. Sandstone unearthed during demolition was cleaned and reused, thus retaining the heritage fabric where possible.
To further improve the stability of this site, our engineers recommended that the external floor pavement be removed throughout the exterior ground forecourt, to resolve the unevenness and hazardous nature of the ground forecourt. Bricks were laid down to resolve this issue, bringing new life and strength to the site. The church is currently in a 3 year phase of restoration which has now turn to the building façade, roof, internal coatings and iconography.
Update 2 In the next stage of restoration, BellMont conducted the following works;
Concrete & Render Repairs - were undertaken to specified areas of concrete and render delamination, typically located in corbels, ledges, slab edges, soffits and the rooftop parapet, on all elevations of the building and other reinforced concrete surfaces of the facade.
Facade Coating - New external grade elastomeric membrane coating was applied to all previously painted masonry elements of the façade including walls, horizontal ledges, parapets and corbels, which required being coated and detailed with fabric reinforced elastomeric waterproof membranes. Soffits and timber doors (excluding windows which have been dealt with elsewhere in this specification) was coated with suitable systems.
With the approval of the New South Wales Heritage Authority, the restoration project of AGIA SOPHIA - SYDNEY is approaching completion of Stages 1 and 2.
Under the direction of Bill Moisidis of Bellmont Facade Engineering, the structural repairs, internal painting and facade repairs will restore the Cathedral and once again open its doors to Sydney's Orthodox faithful.
Intense and complex remedial works to the building requiring extensive temporary propping have included:
Concrete spalling throughout the building facade and the entablature of the front facade.
Replacement of the internal concrete slab forming the roof of the entrance portico.
The years of natural weathering has resulted in extensive structural distress to the building facade which has now been all but rectified. Agia Sophia in Constantinople served as a centre of religious, political and artistic life for the Byzantine world and has provided the world with many useful scholarly insights into the period.
As Greek immigration commenced to Sydney, the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral (Agia Sofia) in South Dowling Street, Paddington, was built in 1927, opened for worship later that year and consecrated in 1928. The Cathedral served as a religious and social centre for the newly arriving Greek immigrants (many from Asia Minor, Ipiros, Kastellorizo, the Peloponnese, Kythera, Macedonia, Crete and throughout Greece). The Cathedral will continue to serve as intended once the necessary repairs are undertaken.
The Cathedral was purpose built and named after the Byzantine Saint Sophia or Holy Wisdom Church in Constantinople. The Greek Orthodox Community NSW, established in 1898, presided at the consecration of Saint Sophia Cathedral in 1928.
We look forward to seeing you at the re-opening of the Cathedral in due course.