ST
 VINCENT’S 
COLLEGE
 CHAPEL

ST
 VINCENT’S 
COLLEGE
 CHAPEL

Architect
Hector Abrahams Architects

Clive Lucas Stapleton & Partners
Plaats
Sydney, Australia | View Map
Bouwjaar
2011
Categorie
Kapellen
Emilio Cresciani

ST
 VINCENT’S 
COLLEGE
 CHAPEL

Hector Abrahams Architects als Architecten

Hundreds 
of 
delicate 
pendant
 lights 
and 
a
luscious 
colour
 scheme 
have
 brought 
beauty 
and 
wonder 
to 
the 
interior 
of 
an 
historic 
chapel 
in 
Sydney.


Material
 conservation 
and 
the
 interpretation 
of 
the 
interior
 through
 light 
and
 colour 
were
 central 
to 
the 
restoration 
of 
the 
interior 
of 
St
 Vincent’s
Chapel.


The
 chapel
 is
 the
 place 
of 
worship 
for 
the 
Order 
of 
the 
Sisters 
o f
Charity, 
the 
first 
female 
religious 
order 
in 
Australia,
and 
for 
school girls 
boarding 
at
 St 
Vincent’s 
College.


Built 
in
1899‐1902,
to 
the 
design 
of 
S.
B.
Polin
 and 
Denas 
V.
Healy,
 this
 large 
neo Gothic
 Chapel
 had
 major 
problems
 with 
its
 plasterwork
‐
all
 the
interior
 wall 
plaster
 was 
peeling 
away.


It
 was
 technically 
challenging 
to 
uncover 
the 
cause 
of 
the 
problem.
Materials 
testing
 and 
specialist 
in put
 revealed
 that 
there 
was 
a 
congenital
 problem 
with 
the
original 
application 
of 
the 
plaster
 that 
had 
been 
exacerbated
 by 
layers 
of 
paint
 and
 previous 
repairs.


The
 problems 
varied 
in 
scale 
throughout 
the 
building 
and 
therefore
 required
 different
 repair
 approaches
 in
 different 
parts 
of
 the 
building.
In
 some 
areas 
all 
paint
 layers 
were
 removed,
 while
 other
 sections 
required 
major
 replastering
 as
 well,
using 
traditional 
lime 
and 
hair
plaster.


Once 
the
 plaster 
had 
been 
repaired,
 the
 walls 
were 
repainted.
 Based
 on 
one 
of 
the 
historic 
colour 
schemes, 
a
monochromatic
 cream
 colour
scheme in 
three
 shades
 was
 devised 
to 
interpret 
the 
strong
 architecture.
The
 variation 
in 
colour 
highlights 
different 
aspects
 of 
the 
design.


Hector
 Abrahams 
also 
created 
a 
new
 lighting 
design.
Rather
 than
 an 
in‐depth
 theoretical 
lighting 
study
 the 
new
 lighting 
scheme
 was
 developed
by
 using
 trials.
To 
counter 
the 
heavy 
architecture, 
lots 
of 
tiny,
delicate 
pendant
 lights 
were 
hung
 throughout 
the 
space 
bringing 
intimacy
 and
sparkle.
The 
light
 fittings 
themselves
 were
 inexpensive 
and
 are
 easy 
to 
maintain.


Important
 artworks 
including 
the
 marble
 statues 
were 
conserved.


A
 thorough 
understanding 
of 
the 
material s
technology 
of 
old 
buildings 
is 
essential
 to 
ensure 
the 
continued 
usability 
of 
our
 unique
 heritage.
Projects 
such 
as 
this 
ensure 
our 
knowledge 
of 
traditional 
construction 
and
 repairs 
is 
maintained.


Good
 science,
 sound 
craftsmanship,
and
 an
 elegant
 colour
 and 
light
 scheme,
has 
brought 
alive 
a
 splendid 
worship
space.


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