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Dec 9, 2014

When St Johns Lutheran Church set out to redevelop the land around its historic Northbridge church, the key challenge was to create a modern, mixed-use development at the prominent Aberdeen Street address while retaining the old-world charm of the 78-year-old stone church.

Rowe Group was initially engaged to assist with planning and development before being appointed to also project manage the building phase.

Senior Project Manager of Rowe Group, Abdul Mousli, said the single-story development with basement car park, retail and community facilities, provided a great opportunity to marry creativity with innovation for the design team.

“The opportunity to provide both planning input and project management services allowed us to really understand the challenges and opportunities involved in this exciting redevelopment,” Mr Mousil said.

“The main façade of the building faces Aberdeen Street and a feature glass link seamlessly connects the old building with the new.

“We were also able to replicate a symbolic ‘Lutheran Rose’ before the old hall was demolished to make way for the new building, and have incorporated this feature into two façades of the new building.”

The redevelopment was also cleverly designed to include a concealed concrete slab in the first floor.

“St Johns originally planned to build a four-level development with an underground car park but the project went through several changes and was eventually scaled back to include a hall for church use, three retail tenancies and a fee paying car park,” Mr Mousil said

“The concrete slab has ‘future-proofed’ the site by enabling an easier and cleaner build when the church decides to add a second or third level in the future.”

Dean Solmundson, Chairman of the Church Council, said the development, which is adjacent to the Old Swan Barracks and Central TAFE, would provide more space for the congregation and the WA District Office.

“St Johns will become a Christian centre within Northbridge, a place where people can share in the spirit of church community through worship and outreach,” he said.

Engaging Rowe Group to assist with both the planning and project management had resulted in significant time and cost savings, he added.

“Rowe Group and in particular, its Project Management team, has been mindful of our needs and schedule from the outset,” he said.

“They were sensitive to our budget and recognised that the project’s viability is dependent on meeting our leasing deadlines.

“We have found them to be very professional when dealing with any variations and issues and they’ve worked hard to fight the battles that had the potential to steer the project off track.”


of tenancies have already secured leases with construction reaching completion last week.