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The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sophia is a heritage listed church located in Paddington, NSW. Having been consecrated in 1927, the Cathedral has a storied history as one of the first Greek Orthodox Cathedrals in Australia.

The Cathedral had been exposed to multiple elements since it’s construction. As a result, there was significant accumulated structural damage. Parts of the building were crumbling, and large cracks had appeared.

The front façade had suffered with large sections of the concrete mix completely saturated, resulting in corrosion of the steel reinforcement. The left and right corners of the upper-level frieze had shifted by up to 20mm and the bedding of the top moulds/corbel had delaminated.

With a strong remedial capability, ARA Building Services was contracted to complete the restoration works on the Cathedral.

Saint Sophia was heritage listed by the NSW Government in 2015, and as such, any work is required to be undertaken in accordance with the Burra Charter principles and standards. This means that no alterations to the façade of the building are allowed, other than to reinstate original features.

The elevated wall and entablature were repaired. A propping system was designed to support the entablature, which is 8 metres above the main entrance portico.

An external waterproofing membrane was applied to waterproof the corbels on the building with properties which resist ageing. The system was then completed with a liquid membrane coating to match the remainder of the church façade.

An external façade and roof membrane was applied to the façade of the Cathedral and carbon fibre crack stitching was also installed to help prevent further cracking in the structure.

To prevent interior damage when removing the roof tiles and installing the sarking, the roof was completed in stages to minimize exposure to the elements and mitigate the risk of internal damage.

The supporting walls, which underpinned the entablature, were supported off a base slab tied into the structure, forming an intricate gravity-based system to support the main wall and entablature.

ARA is also undertaking remedial structural repairs at another Greek Orthodox Church in Surry Hills to restore the aesthetically distinctive facade to its former glory. Additional works on the Church include re-framing and re-leading of the intricate front leadlight windows, and installation of new rooftop waterproofing membranes.

ARA Building Services restores building façades completely, both structurally and aesthetically, with brand new finishes, retaining history through restoring the unique features of heritage buildings and structures.

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