Darlinghurst building recognised for excellence in construction

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Spring 6-11-2008

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus

Publication Place



Equiset’s development of the University of Notre Dame Australia’s medical and nursing schools in Sydney has won two Excellence in Construction Awards from the Master Builders Association (MBA) of NSW.

Equiset was nominated for best tertiary education building and for best use of bricks at the University’s Darlinghurst campus.

Managing director Lorenz Grollo accepted the awards on behalf of the Equiset team at the MBA’s annual presentation last night.

“The planning and construction of education facilities is a core business for Equiset, and so it is a significant event for us to be recognised by our peers with these awards,” Mr Grollo said.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Cardinal Pell, also congratulated the Equiset team. “The awards are very well deserved for what you have achieved at Darlinghurst,” he said.

Notre Dame’s Architect Marcus Collins said, “Equiset has every reason to be proud of the constructed outcome of this important education and heritage complex. I know from my 30 years’ experience as both a heritage and an educational architect that no previous project has contained, on one site, such a wide diversity of construction requirements.”

The $20 million-plus project involved the construction of a new seven-level brick administration and academic building for the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and the restoration of the Sacred Heart Church complex, integrated with the adjacent St Vincent’s Hospital on the corner of Darlinghurst Road and Victoria Street.

Construction required heritage restoration – the adaptive re-use of two heritage and one other significant buildings – as well as the new building, on a restricted site bounded by three major traffic roads.

Heritage work ranged from the delicate repair of white ant damaged 19th century scissor trusses, to the shifting of a 90 tonne concrete apse containing a delicate, heritage-listed mosaic, Risen Christ. The latter engineering and construction exercise won the 2008 NSW Engineering Excellence Award for both the heritage section, and for overall winner for all categories.

The Darlinghurst project is Equiset’s second for Notre Dame Australia. In 2006, the group completed a $10 million project transforming the historic St Benedict’s church, presbytery and school site on Broadway in inner Sydney to a precinct for 400 students in arts, business, education, nursing and law.

Media contact:

Moira Saunders 02 8204 4407