Castle Hill church exterior

This modern chapel design reinterprets the functions of a place of worship, increasing flexibility while retaining its core purpose as a religious space.

Designed by Jackson Teece, the new St James’ Chapel and Dover Hall are an integral part of Anglicare’s Retirement Living and Aged Care precinct in Castle Hill.

The brief

The redevelopment of St James’ Chapel was not originally part of the master plan for the precinct. However, once it was determined that the original chapel was not meeting its functional requirements, plans were drawn up for a purpose-built chapel and multi-functional space that could accommodate up to 400 people.

The space also needed to incorporate food and beverage facilities, a vestry, chancellery, office space, male and female amenities and basement car park. Particular consideration was to be given to flexibility; the space needed the ability to be quickly transformed to serve different purposes.

Design response

Castle Hill geometric interior

Externally, the chapel presents a quiet strength with its angular form and simple steel cross. A perforated aluminium casing covers the ceramic clad and glazed building underneath, allowing soft dappled light to filter into the internal space. This effect, combined with a warm interior palette creates a golden, heavenly effect that envelopes those inside.

The form of the building was derived from the height of its predecessor, as well as the wind loads it would need to bear. Significant elements of the previous building have also been re-used, including 14 stained glass windows and the original chapel bell.

castle hill church stained glass

To create flexible space, two automated acoustic sky-folds were installed, separating or connecting the chapel and Dover Hall. When both walls are closed, they create a central corridor connecting Lober Square with the residential villages.

State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment and temperature control are also key parts of the mechanical design.

castle hill church angular