The restoration of original WWII heritage structures on an island environment balanced conservation and public safety priorities
The heritage-listed Bickley Battery was a defence establishment during World War II and includes bunkers, gun emplacements, plotting rooms, and observational towers. The publicly accessible buildings were in a poor state of repair, so preservation, public safety, and risk mitigation were key considerations for the refurbishment.
As heritage engineer and superintendent, our structural team carried out an extensive program of steel treatment, concrete repair, glass replacement, and masonry refurbishment. We used a minimal intervention philosophy to preserve elements of historic significance. Concrete refurbishment was required as spalling and corroding steel reinforcement presented a roof collapse risk in several rooms. The team was able to maintain the original structure by introducing new reinforcement in places and treating existing steel reinforcement in others. A large set of blast resistant doors were also retained using a steel preservation treatment to maintain the original painted signage.
Our role required an understanding of coastal durability protection, heritage intervention approaches, and the balance between conservation and public safety. A sensitive engineering approach balanced with the need for safety and risk reduction led to the resulting award-winning refurbishment.
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