Back in 1958 Smith + Tracey undertook the design of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in North Melbourne. The project was founded in 1958 and completed in 1963. The Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral has become a prominent landmark with its pale grey brick and sky-tinted glass. It is like a Byzantine dream among the brightly painted terrace houses.
The Cathedral is a subtle translation of traditional Byzantine style into modern materials with the interior walls in the same grey bricks as the exterior. The building has three different levels thus gaining the full dignity of a very high interior rising to a central dome and clerestory.
Sunlight shafting down through the windows illuminates the altar with its modern spun-brass furnishing. In the foreground are the small marriage and baptismal tables. The altar stands clear of the walls so that communicants can kneel all around it and processions can go around. All light fittings, ventilators, microphones and even the paved floor are designed with cruciform detail to fit the master plan. Under the Cathedral is a big hall with a fully equipped kitchen to cater for events. This Cathedral opened its doors to 800 Australian families providing mass services. It is a place of learning for the Ukrainian language, history, dance and music.
Since it was completed in 1963 this wonderful piece of architecture has become a prominent part of North Melbourne. Through the years restorations have been done with scaffold installation and preliminary works needed to determine the final materials to be used for mold resistance, and plaster and concrete repair procedures.
The Ukrainian Cathedral has become an icon building and people come especially to view and experience this great piece of architecture.