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Mary’s Chapel, St Joseph’s College Geelong


Baldasso Cortese


A.S Gleeson Construction


Adbri Masonry

Products Used:

Architectural Masonry/Designer Masonry Shotblast

Building Contractor:

Caruso Bricklaying

Photography Credits:

Latitude Group

St Joseph’s College, Geelong provides Catholic education in the tradition of Edmund Rice.This project required a space for liturgy and learning that could accommodate 100 people. The client’s desire was that the chapel not be religious in appearance nor “box-like,” however, it was to incorporate both Christian symbolism and Indigenous symbolism of the local Wathaurong people.

Inspiration was taken from the symbolism of the Edmund Rice shield, which has strong synergy with the organic nature of Indigenous art, with flowing lines and sinuous movement representing gatherings (corroboree) and songlines (paths across the landscape). The chapel is broken into two forms that embrace one another: the lower/outer form directs people to the chapel and contains support spaces; while the taller form contains the chapel.

The stepping in the built form reduces the scale and bulk of the building from the streets. The external core-filled concrete blockwork was chosen for its simplicity and robustness, enabling a lean and economical structural design and mitigating the need for structural steel with the exception of the roof. The overall materiality is restrained and minimal, ensuring a simple design.

"Exemplary blockwork, expressive forms and the incorporation of Christian and Indigenous Australian symbolism have created a chapel that offers engaging spaces for liturgy and learning."
- Jury 2017 -