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.

    Right now, we’ve observed many of our Convent Building windows at risk. The ACF needs to raise at least $50,000 by 30 June 2019 so that we can begin window conservation works as soon as possible. 

    What’s involved?

    • Engaging a specialist heritage timber conservator and materials conservator to advise on all works
    • Attending to emergency works (glass broken or at risk of breaking)
    • Repairing or replacing rotting timber frames
    • Undertaking protective painting of each timber window frame, inside and out
    • Installing solar film (where appropriate) to support heating/cooling energy efficiency
    • Safely managing all access requirements including scaffolding, boom lifts and platform ladders

    This conservation project is critical, and the task ahead is significant. If the Convent is a place of connection and inspiration in your world, and you’d like to be a part of preserving it for the future, please donate to our ‘Windows to Worlds’ appeal today.

    Image by Anne Moffat.