The re-imagining of Canberra’s St Christopher’s Cathedral Precinct emerged from a desire to unite the many functions of the Church into one central location. The Archdiocese administration, a community hall, archive store and Independent Living Units are all located within one development and united by a design approach rich in theological emblem. The new buildings center around the existing heritage listed Cathedral and are designed to create a vibrant community of residents, office staff, parishioners and clergy.
A new public space behind the Cathedral, referred to as The Cloister, has been designed to comfortably accommodate large gatherings of people, while another more private space provides a secure outdoor environment for residents. An accessible path runs through the site and uses playful stonework to subtly distinguish between the public and private realm.
The integration of sustainability was important to both the client and architect. Trees were retained wherever possible to provide shade and respite. The topography of the site was embraced to naturally ventilate the carpark and to enable the collection of rainwater. With good proximity to public transport, car parks were reduced and provision made for electric car re-charging stations.