Thomas Carr College

This project was initiated by the College Principal after visiting an interstate secondary college that offered a flexible liturgical space for its RE curriculum.

Initial concepts were developed in accordance with the existing College master plan. This meant the Chapel needed to be located at the College entry to signify Thomas Carr College’s identity as a Catholic College in the local community.

The form and materiality of the building provide a strong welcoming gesture. The fluid form expresses a sense of intimacy allowing the spiritual nature of a program to be celebrated in an open plan environment. Polychromatic brickwork is used along the street facade referencing the surrounding suburban context. Metal cladding is used on the facades addressing the school and provides a shimmering backdrop to daily school life.

There are two courtyards: one for large school gatherings and a second smaller memorial garden for quiet reflection. A central suspended feature light, inspired by the building geometry, was also created as a focal point.

The single open space serves as religious education learning area and as a Chapel in the monastic tradition. This tradition allows for the users to focus inward and engage with their fellow users, creating an inclusive and caring environment.

The College Chapel provided the opportunity to reflect the life of Archbishop Thomas Carr, second Archbishop of Melbourne. The beautiful art glass windows of various sizes are part of a specially designed space for the fourteen Stations of the Cross. These lead to the crucifix window which represents poignantly the death and resurrection of Christ. The Chapel has a unique curved design and a central axis. This creates a monastic-style interior for the placement of key liturgical furniture such as the tabernacle, presiders chair, altar and ambo. The Chapel allows the community to gather around the altar for the interment celebration of the Eucharist.

We are delighted with our sacred space and there is no doubt that the Chapel is and will remain a signature building. The beautifully designed and minimalist approach of the Chapel provides the perfect canvas for the key elements of a Church to be represented.

Dr Andrew Watson, Principal