Australian Catholic University – Barren Memorial Chapel

The reinvigoration of the Barron Memorial Chapel on the Strathfield campus of the Australian Catholic University promotes participation in the liturgy through the contemporary development of the internal and external spaces whilst being respectful of the existing heritage fabric.

The refurbishment of the existing Barron Memorial Chapel on the Strathfield campus integrates a number of aspects, namely the installation of a pipe organ, restoration of heritage fabric and maintenance works. Primary to this process, however, was the need to establish the Barron Memorial Chapel as a current and appropriate ecclessial space for the contemporary worshipping community of the Australian Catholic University.

Jesse Mowbray, initiated the design process to address this brief in a holistic manner with the liturgy as the central element uniting the other parts.

“Fundamentally it was imperative that the campus utilise this heritage building, ideally for the original purpose, for it is only in the use of heritage elements that we realise true patrimony. To this end, therefore, it was important that the liturgical space be manipulated within the constraints of the heritage fabric to embrace the modifications that have been implemented within the Catholic Church”

Design Outcomes

  • The chapel refurbishment promotes current liturgical celebration and contributes to the Catholic ecclesial tradition in a contemporary manner
  • The chapel presents the sacraments in a catechetical manner to effectively engage staff and students
  • The Catholic nature of the university is expressed through the new chapel precinct with the chapel at the heart of the campus experience for staff and students