Renowned Bathurst architect Henry Bialowas has won a prestigious award for his design of the Cathedral Bell Tower.
The Australian Institute of Architects presented him with the award for Non-residential Architecture Alterations and Additions for his bell tower design.
In 2006 Mr Bialowas was awarded the commission to create the bell tower after winning a design competition. Work got under way in 2007 with construction taking place in 2008 and 2009.
The tower was officially opened by NSW Governor Professor Marie Bashir in October last year.
Mr Bialowas said he decided to enter the competition because he relishes a challenge.
“Bell towers are extremely rare buildings. This one was the only one going up in the Southern Hemisphere at the time,” Mr Bialowas said.
"They are a very difficult building to do.
“One of the challenges was that the cathedral is located in the part of Bathurst with the most heritage, yet I had to produce a building that was technologically modern.
“The complex soil condition also made it very tricky, as did the fact that the heavy bells rotate 360 degrees resulting in enormous forces on the building that you don’t see.
“That’s the great difference between the carillon and the bell tower. In the carillon the bells are struck. You don’t have those kind of forces generated by the swinging bells.”
To counteract the problem, eight concrete piers were embedded into an ancient river bed.
They were driven deeper into the ground than the cathedral was above ground.
The bell tower is on the same axis as the courthouse, carillon and cathedral right down to the river.
Water at the base of the tower helps reflect sound as well as being symbolic of life.
A visiting bell ringer, who has played in bell towers all over the world, said he had never heard a better sound.
“I’m extremely proud of it,” Mr Bialowas said.