Working with heritage buildings requires care, patience, and the ability to deal with the unexpected. It also requires a desire to reintegrate old buildings into the day-to-day life of the city.


On Thursday night last week that care, patience and passion was rewarded, with the State Heritage Listed Bice Building at Lot Fourteen receiving the named award for heritage – The David Saunders Award for Heritage Architecture at the 2022 Australian Institute of Architecture’s South Australian Chapter Awards. It was an unexpected recognition for our team whose efforts spanned their transition from Hassell into Baukultur.


With great support from heritage consultants Purcell and the enthusiastic backing of our client Renewal SA, and the efforts of the consultant team of WSP, Katnich Dodd, Turner Townsend, D-Squared and RLB along with contractor Hansen Yuncken, the Bice Building has once again become a centre piece of this end of North Terrace.

​Although our studio is more known for its new buildings, heritage buildings have been an important part of our collective careers, especially over the last five years.


They have included:

  • the refurbishment of the Adelaide Festival Centre, arguably Adelaide’s most significant heritage building from the latter half of last century
  • The upgrade of the Supreme Courts in Victoria Square that resolved significant circulation cross overs to create a contemporary court environment while revealing the splendour of 19th Century buildings
  • The integration of the Telephone Exchange Building adjacent to the GPO into the GPO Exchange development, where it is now an important part of the foyer experience


All of these are listed in the State Heritage Register.

Add to this the preliminary design concept that formed the basis of the redevelopment of Her Majesty’s Theatre, and it is a body of work in which we feel privileged to have been involved.


A fundamental tenet of the concept of baukultur is to draw on the existing qualities of a place –natural, built and cultural – to add to the experience of our cities. Heritage is a key part of the existing baukultur of a place, one of the foundational layers of its cultural and built richness.


Our lived experience of working in another recipient of the David Saunders Award for Heritage – the delightful Darling Building in Franklin Street by our upstairs neighbours Williams Burton Leopardi – has cemented our thinking in this regard and reinforced our appreciation of the value of these wonderful places and their contribution to the life of our city.

So we can’t wait to reveal the beautiful spaces that are currently taking shape in the new Marriot Hotel at Adelaide’s GPO late next year.