St James Anglican School Chapel of St James

Alkimos, Perth

Anglican Schools Commission
St James Anglican School

September 2015

Based on a locally found spiral shell, the building has a light core at its foundation, with large sweeping views from the main chapel towards the ocean. The smaller lady chapel to the side remains tucked away as to create a quiet, peaceful area, surrounded by landscaped gardens for reflection and walking.

The impetus was to create a building that drew together the St James Anglican School, the Yanchep Anglican Parish and the community in a landmark building. The team chose an elevated rock outcrop as the ideal site. The genesis of the design was a sun bleached shell found partially buried on a deserted beach, capturing the essence and spirit. The radial design has wings that reach out to connect the environment and community. Monolithic walls anchor the design to the ground and counter the expansive glass openings. The solid wall elements continue through the building to provide the definition and backbone of the building and with a lighter eroded entry canopy, as a reminder of the changing nature of the coast and life.

The two chapels are arranged around the foyer that provides the focus of the central font. Liturgical elements are delineated by the brass floor strips. This is a building more than just for worship, it is a centre for community engagement and celebration, a hub supporting spiritual, academic and social values for the new School and wider community and represents a significant landmark in the development of Alkimos.

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