The two religious buildings were located in Parnell, a residential area of Aukland, in New Zealand. The building is the result of a design selected by a jury convened specifically to choose one of the four proposals from the best architects in the country.
The Bishop Selwyn Chapel is conceived as a sacred and elegant space, which will be the reference point for the community and visitors for years to come. The plan is for a gilded ceiling to stand out the most starting from the outside. The ceiling’s striking visual impact is due to Giusto Manetti Battiloro gilding with gold leaf as well as the glass walls, which allow for high natural light penetration by minimizing the perception of the structure. The viewer has the impression of being suspended in the air above a glass box.
An internal mechanism activates the glass wall box, which opens onto the garden adjacent to the sacred place. Next to the garden stand out a contemporary cross, 8.4 meters high, designed by artist Neil Dawson, and a columbarium located behind the cross. The visitor is thus encouraged to look beyond the church outwards.
The interior is an intimate space with minimalist design that can accommodate up to 120 people, according to different needs. The structure is considered a space for the celebration of baptisms, weddings and other religious ceremonies.
Architect Fearon Hay’s design challenges the idea of an introspective worship space. The glass walls allow for interaction between the community and the cathedral, so it may be seen as a place for gathering and worship.