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Reroofing St Lukes Chapel, Melbourne School for Girls

Architects : Steve Hanofin Lovell Chen Architects

Roof tiles : Country Brown smooth faced clay tiles 50%  and bespoke sized tiles (245mm long instead of 265mm) 50%, hogs back ridges and Dreadnought Tileline tilevents

Main Contractor Ivy Construction

Heritage Advisor - Steve Walters, Paragon Slate


St Lukes Chapel was originally built as an assembly back in 1917.  It has a large roof with a steep 60 degree roof pitch and the original handmade plain clay tiles were in two different sizes and were laid in alternate courses, large and then small, creating an eyecatching pattern over the large roof.  When these were failing and in need of replacement, both tiles were found to be no longer in production.  The smaller ones, a regular plain clay tile length today at 265mm were Eureka, made locally in Melbourne and the larger tiles (approx. 10mm longer at 275mm) were made by the Lion Brick and Tile Company in Sydney.   

Lovell Chen Architects looked for local alternatives but were not happy with what was available.  The best they could find were tiles made in Vietnam but these did not meet Australian standards.  They approached Paragon Slate who had previously specified Dreadnought Tiles in Australia and felt that Dreadnought, with their bespoke capabilities would be able to supply this unusual requirement. 

Countrybrown smooth plain and bespoke clay tiles at St Lukes Chapel Melbourne

Machinemade tiles rather than handmade were chosen in order to keep the costs down.  Steve at Paragon Slate found that he could get the same pattern using slightly shorter tiles as long as they had the 2 different sizes.  It would be much more feasible and cost effective to use a standard tile and a short one (that could be cut down and made smaller during production) than to make a larger one than the standard 265mm length which would incur considerable tooling costs.

close up of countrybrown smooth plain and bespoke clay tiles at St Lukes Chapel Melbourne

Using slightly smaller tiles would however affect the batten guage.  The original batten guage was 114mm but this would not give the shorter tiles which were only 245mm long enough lap which could affect the roof’s performance.  The new roof was set out with a 90mm batten guage to allow greater lap on the shorter tiles.  Dreadnought's hogback ridges were used to finish off and Tileline tilevents were  installed to provide seamless ventilation without disturbing the roofline.

MGGS - St Lukes Chapel - 1  MGGS - St Lukes Chapel - 2



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