St Andrews Church_Parry and Rosenthal Architects

Parry and Rosenthal Architects have specialised in the design and construction of numerous church related projects throughout Western Australia. Part of the success of the firm in this sector is attributed to its collaborative and consultative approach with members of the church community and its understanding of the core values and profound beliefs these communities hold.

The St Andrew’s Catholic Church building is located on the site of the existing St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School in Clarkson, and serves as both a school chapel and the local community church.

A fan shaped plan was utilised to bring the congregation as close as possible to the sanctuary and provide a soft, intimate space for prayer, worship and teaching.

The design allows even natural light into the church without direct glare or silhouetting by concealing the windows behind layered shell walls and in the roof above.

The materials selected for the Church including a natural limestone base and white rendered walls are complementary to the school buildings but provide a distinctive simple imagery consistent with the values of the Christian Community it serves.

Internally clear-finished purpose-designed timber pews and a deep red carpet contrast with the pure white walls which are washed with light entering between the layered curved walls behind the Sanctuary. Simple decoration is used sparingly within the Church reinforcing the purity and serenity of the space.

The layered curvilinear forms on the southern elevation of the building culminate in a pair of vertical blade walls supporting a simple symbolic cross which announces the Church to the public realm.

To the north, a curved veranda protects the full height glazed walls of the foyer as well as providing shelter to members of the congregation entering and leaving the Church or meeting outside. The church opens out on to the north terrace, protected from the roads and wind and taking advantage of the northern sun and views over the St Andrew’s Primary School below.

Designed to appear welcoming and open, the Church symbolises a beacon of hope in the community, which is beautiful, functional and fits into its West Australian environment.

Other churches recently completed by Parry and Rosenthal Architects include All Hallows Church in Boulder, St Thomas Moore Catholic Church in Bateman and Kwinana Church of Christ.