Windows to Worlds
The windows of any building are its most vulnerable part – but they’re also where the light gets in. They’re the liminal spaces where people can peer into, and out of, other worlds.
Built in 1901, the main Convent Building contains 260 windows and almost 720 window panes across its four levels; windows of all shapes, sizes and fragility. Crafted over a century ago, many of these windows currently retain their original woodwork and glass. We wish to honour this incredible workmanship, and protect and preserve it for the next 100 years.
The worlds that lie behind each of these 260 windows are extraordinary.
The Convent Building currently houses over 100 studios, two galleries, and six public venue spaces available for year-round community use. From writers to photographers, designers to art therapists, painters to social enterprises, and counsellors to massage therapists – this building houses some of the country’s most talented artists and practitioners.
A changing environment – our challenge ahead
Over the years, the windows of the Convent Building have endured increased exposure to the elements, with many of the exterior timber frames becoming compromised. This stress puts the timber at risk of rotting or breaking, which could result in our heritage glass shattering. Once this 118 year-old glass breaks, it is lost forever.
Community support through our ‘Windows to Worlds’ fundraising appeal in mid-2019 enabled us to:
- Engage a specialist heritage timber conservator and materials conservator to advise on all works
- Attend to emergency works (glass broken or at risk of breaking)
- Repair and replace rotting timber frames
- Undertake protective painting of timber window frames, inside and out
- Install solar film (where appropriate) to support heating/cooling energy efficiency
- Safely manage all access requirements including scaffolding, boom lifts and platform ladders
Special thanks goes to our Project Partner – Vincent Painting. The wonderful support of Vincent Painting magnified the generous support of our community, enabling ACF to restore all 48 windows on the southern façade of the main Convent Building. A momentous effort, and one that ensures the future of these windows for many years to come.