St Thomas Becket Church, Lewisham – Landscaping

In 2015 and 2016 St Thomas Becket undertook major refurbishment of the Church. O’Hanlon Design Landscape Architects was engaged to conceptualise and manage one of the final refurbishment projects; the external grounds.

The existing grounds were extremely dilapidated, burdened with failing stormwater drainage systems and large trees resulting in significant surfacing root damage and trip hazards. OHD set about resolving these issues in conjunction with the stakeholders and in consideration of the larger site precinct masterplan.

In conjunction with preparing lump sum tender documentation; OHD assisted in making tree removal applications with the local council, prepared a stormwater and electrical concept design for design finalisation and construction by the contractor and co-ordinated structural civil engineering documentation.

The design intent was to provide a grand entry to the front door, equitable access, and landscaped breakout courtyards either side of the church. The design underwent numerous iterations associated with cost control, ultimately resulting in a reduced scope. Significant outcomes included the new grand stair to Thomas Street, equitable DDA access ramp network, functioning stormwater, low level lighting, and the courtyards complete with large replacement native tree planting which will provide balanced streetscape elevations and cool quiet spaces for gathering or reflection after mass, weddings, or funerals.