Urban Renewal / Adaptive Reuse

Completed in December 2019, Stokes 14 comprises the adaptive reuse of a Post-War single storey industrial warehouse, into commercial and residential uses across a 3624 sqm site.

The project is situated within the North Alexandria Industrial Heritage Conservation Area, which forms part of one of the largest known collections of industrial and warehouse buildings of its kind in Australia. The retention and adaptation of the existing building was therefore the springboard for this innovative project.

Most of the original building fabric was retained and restored, including brick facades, sawtooth roofs and steel roof trusses. The heavily modified offices along the western frontage were demolished and rebuilt to suit new functional requirements. New construction employs similar industrial materials however these elements are all elevated in their expression and detailing.

The key innovation was to transform an existing warehouse into a carbon neutral building, targeting a six-star NABERS energy rating. This started with the premise to retain over 80 percent of the existing footprint, minimising material supply and wastage.

Sustainability features include 260 roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels with battery storage, creating an energy positive building. Air-conditioning is replaced with natural ventilation, coupled with radiant hydronic under􀀃oor heating and cooling and ceiling fans. Rainwater is harvested for reuse, and water-e􀀂cient 􀀁xtures and building automation ensure energy efficiency. Materials were selected for their embodied energy, harm to the environment and reuse opportunities.

The project has been a successful business development tool in attracting new clients, and interest in the design has led to much media coverage and shortlisting in industry awards.

Every project has challenges to overcome and Stokes 14 was no exception. The self-supporting catenary vaults of the Caretaker’s residence required an innovative construction methodology which was developed, prototyped and tested before construction. Creating a commercial building without air conditioning was another feat.

Judges Comments

The judges were not only impressed by the design and its reuse of heritage materials but also how it made them feel when they were inside Stokes 14. The result is a space that inspires a sense of calm and joy.

The judges loved how the design of the building so clearly embraced the essence of its industrial roots and Stokes 14 sits perfectly within the North Alexandria Industrial Heritage Conservation Area. The use of similar materials that are seen in the rest of the precinct, reimagined through a contemporary lens, was particularly impressive and demonstrated incredible attention to detail.

The judges appreciated the brick façade which contrasts wonderfully with the light, clean interior, the curved brickwork on the street façade and the balustrade made from an array of tensioned steel cables.

The judges considered this to be a benchmark example of urban renewal which shows how adaptative reuse can add wonderful texture, tonality and experience to a development.