Originally constructed in 1871 the Chapel was, and still is, the cultural and spiritual centre for the Sisters of the Good Shepherd at the Abbotsford Convent. Robert Simeoni Architects was engaged to restore the building and explore the possibility of creating new uses and spaces for redundant areas.

Project Name: Good Shepherd Chapel
Firm Name: Robert Simeoni Architects
Project size: 1500 m2
Site size: 1500 m2
Completion date: 2012
Building levels: 3
Location:  Abbotsford, Australia
Photography: Trevor Mein

Good Shepherd Chapel by Robert Simeoni Architects - Sheet1
Sanctuary ©Trevor Mein

In addition to traditional worship facilities, flexible spaces are provided for use by lay people and the public. An interpretive centre and a variety of meeting spaces and amenities, including an intimate space in the crypt, have been incorporated into this restoration project.

Good Shepherd Chapel by Robert Simeoni Architects - Sheet2
Entrance ©Trevor Mein

Restoration of the existing building was undertaken with care to retain as much of the existing fabric as possible. New works are treated intentionally as interventions, a contemporary architectural layer, sitting lightly within and subordinate to the existing fabric. Importantly, wherever possible these interventions are reversible.

Good Shepherd Chapel by Robert Simeoni Architects - Sheet3
Lobby ©Trevor Mein

This restoration of the existing Chapel and the new interventions honour the history of the Good Shepherd Sisters and provide a multifunctional facility for their continued work and presence within the community.


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