Afternoon Tea

An afternoon tea was kindly organised by Margo, who is also a student in this subject. The gathering was held at the recently developed Graythwaite site at the Shore School in Sydney. Over afternoon tea we explored the design process that took place in restoring this heritage listed property.

The project manager identified a myriad of challenges that they faced throughout the process. The biggest challenge throughout the process was achieving a workable space whilst maintaining the finesse of such a historic building. To fulfill such challenges a range of teams were employed, from architects to space consultants.  During the initial stages of the development, a team researched the history of the building and developed a timeline of alterations made to the  site over time. For further details, please view…334b…/23_Graythwaite.pdf . 

Once construction was underway, the plans were changed several times for different reasons. The school’s intention was  to ensure the building was restored as close to original as possible. When the school acquired the site, the building was dilapidated and in desperate need of TLC. The council then restricted the school’s attempts to preserve the building until given approval.During this time the building continued to deteriorate. Once given the ok, they discovered a number of structural problems that needed to be addressed prior to reconstructing. This included rotten floors, rising damp etc. As more light was shed on issues within the building more research was undertaken, and how the internet has changed our ability to source information. As an example, the floors in the entrance needed to be replaced so too did the tiles. A tile was lifted from the floor having the company name which continues to  manufacture tiles in the UK.

It’s worth looking at the following websites to an insight into the development.


It is admirable how the designers have created an inviting workable space, pieced together contemporary elements within such a historic building. Fascinating!



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