Sacred Heart is a key element within Abbotsford Convent and arguably its symbolic heart. A courtyard building it served as a secure home and workplace facility for “fallen and wayward women.” Recent works by KTA enable the use of what were virtually abandoned buildings for a mix of creative business, workshops and learning spaces as well as venues for cultural events and artisan-type retail. The key challenge was to achieve regulatory compliance with a degree of delight and respect for the highly variegated and listed heritage fabric.
Resisting the urge to unify the variety of spaces, the broader result is a veritable palimpsest indexing the many histories and uses of the convent. The Bridge is the most visible sign of the otherwise subtle changes that have taken place largely within the adjacent interiors, the bare minimum to support new uses and opportunities.