Bishop Selwyn Chapel

PrizeWinner in Architectural Design / Institutional Architecture
Firm LocationAuckland, New Zealand
CompanyFearon Hay Architects Limited
Lead ArchitectJeff Fearon & Tim Hay
Design TeamMichael Huh
ClientHoly Trinity Cathedral

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
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.