Inner West Council has named the 2021 Built Environment Awards winners, with conservation works to Annandale’s The Abbey designed by Letizia Coppo + Associates taking out the 2021 Marrickville Medal. 

The competition, that celebrates built conservation works that contribute to the understanding and preservation of the Inner West’s rich cultural and architectural heritage, is awarded annually, with the Marrickville Medal and the Inner West Urban Photography Competition the two awards up for grabs.

A Victorian gothic mansion, The Abbey was purchased in 2009 and was a shadow of its former glory. Letizia Coppo + Associates devised a plan to return it to an image of grandeur, and enlisted A & DR Illes Pty Ltd to help with the build.

The work included replacement of the terracotta roof and roof capping to the main house and chapel, copper batten roll roof to tower, and repairs to sandstone, stained glass windows, and finials.

The statement from the judges says the work conducted to The Abbey was outstanding. 

“The roofing works to the terracotta main house roofs and to the batten roll copper roof to the tower have gone beyond what was required simply to protect the building from water ingress,” it reads.

“The works have reinstated original details and the silhouette of significant elements, including the repair of the metal finial with compass points to the tower, the reconstruction of the lions bearing the John Young standards, the repairs to glass and metal to stained glass windows.

“These works demonstrate a strong commitment to accurate conservation using highly skilled tradespeople.”

The judge's statement also says that The Abbey now utilises a “nice ‘washed out’ tonality which reinforces the age and condition of the buildings, and which creates an emotional impact.”

Andrew Miers took out the Open category of the Urban Photography competition with his photograph of his ‘Two lovely ladies’.

The Marrickville Medal for Conservation has been awarded annually since 1995 and was one of the first of its kind in New South Wales. For more information regarding the awards, visit