St Mark’s Anglican Church, Opawa

Lookaway Place House
November 7, 2018


An addition to the north east transept of St Mark’s Church forms a new worship space, named the St Anne’s Chapel. The design transformed a disused organ chamber and porch to create a light-filled, serene and contemplative space adjacent to and visually linked with the main church nave. The new chapel serves several functions such as providing intimate space for smaller services of up to 30 people, overflow space for large events such as weddings, funerals and other important gatherings and offering a quiet area for parents attending services with young children.

The design adds to the original stone church using a contemporary architectural language and expression, however an important consideration was to ensure the original building form and structure remained clear and legible, both externally and internally. This provided some spatial and structural challenges and to ensure a cohesive internal space was achieved, materials were chosen to either complement or match the existing finishes. This provides an overall sense of connectedness with the church whilst offering an intimate space with its own distinct quality, scale and character.

One of the key aspects of the brief included a requirement for improved light levels within the main worship space. Natural light from the chapel addition filters through the glazed partition and contributes to a much brighter Nave and Chancel area. The stained glass cruciform window, salvaged from the former St Anne’s Church in St Martins, provides colourful dappled light and is a prime focal point of the space.

Photographer: Sarah Rowlands Photography