St Andrew's College Centennial Chapel

St Andrew's College Centennial Chapel

Architectus won the design competition for a new chapel following the damage to the original Memorial Chapel in the Canterbury earthquakes.

Christchurch lost a lot of its built heritage. Retaining a memory of the original Chapel as well as the memorial aspect of honouring the Old Collegians was an important part of the concept for the new chapel.

To this end the design uses materials including brick, stone and timber and salvaged elements from the original Chapel which have been brought together in a forty metre long Memorial Wall. Special spaces for the Book of Remembrance, the baptismal font and for contemplation are contained within the four metre deep wall.

The Chapel’s roof is based on familiar regional forms - its ridges and valleys remind us of the ‘V-huts’, the first church buildings in Canterbury. The roof’s central valley folds up to create additional volume over the nave where it is punctuated by a lantern in the location of the original bell tower; it is a skylight, houses the old bell and makes another connection between the old and the new.

The nave is defined by the brick faced Memorial Wall on the north, a timber clad foyer on the west and vestry to the east. The south facade is realised as a folded glass screen. It is light and ethereal and stands in dialogue and contrast to the heavy, earthy Memorial Wall.

Sliding doors connect nave to foyer and the covered entry terrace. The congregation sits on re-used pews and new chairs, arranged as a collection of seating groups - establishing an intermediate scale between the individual and the group. The orientation of the pews allows the congregation to form a relationship with the college community via the visual connection to the school as the backdrop for ceremony.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

St Andrew's College
Christchurch, New Zealand
Floor area
1197 m2
Patrick Clifford
Malcolm Bowes


  • NZIA John Scott Award for Public Architecture 2018
  • NZIA NZ Architecture Award – Public Architecture 2018
  • NZIA Local Architecture Award – Public Architecture 2018
  • Canterbury Heritage Award – Future Heritage 2018
  • Interior Awards, Civic Category 2017

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