Bishop Selwyn Chapel

Prize Winner in Architectural Design / Institutional Architecture
Firm LocationAuckland, New Zealand
CompanyFearon Hay Architects Limited
Lead DesignerJeff Fearon & Tim Hay
Design TeamMichael Huh

After winning the competition for the design of the Chapel, we asked ourselves the following questions; what is this building going to say, what does it need to achieve and how will it operate at a very practical level? With this in mind, our design sought to complete the journey from North to South on the site; from the front of the cathedral through to the columbarium and the mountain, offering a continuation of Bishop Selwyn's vision and a resolution of the Cathedral cluster. We wanted to create a sense of movement and freedom and for the chapel to have a strong presence – a sense of visual permeability. The design is defined by a gleaming, gold, sweeping roof, which appears to levitate over a glass box, layering the space in a deep golden hue. Full height operable glazed doors retract drawing the immediate and distant exterior spaces into the experience of the chapel. By removing the walls, the chapel offers itself to the garden and landscape beyond, becoming less about the building itself and more about the people who inhabit it. The chapel offers a sanctuary to the community and visitors and is a vessel for people’s memories and history.