Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 28 Autumn 2011 Contents continue and complete the 1930s gothic style, the concept had been
investigated by the archbishop and deemed too expensive.
In accordance with the guidelines of the Burra Charter, a guide for
the conservation and management of places of cultural significance,
Peter says, "I believe that you shouldn't just ape what is there, and
new work should be seen as new work, and separate from the old."
is view was supported by his peers: at the 2010 Australian
Institute of Architects (WA chapter) Awards, he won three major
prizes, including the George Temple Poole Award. e jury's citation
describes the project as "a master work of public architecture" and
commends it as a "building [that] tells its own story through the
superb detailing and sensitive relationship of the old to the new".
Standing on high ground overlooking the City of Perth and set in a park-like
square among a concentrated group of other historic Catholic buildings,
St Mary's Cathedral is a unique landmark. While it has been the centre of worship
for the Catholic community since 1865, it is also intrinsically connected to the
social history of all West Australians.
The site was earmarked for an Anglican cathedral. However, when the
Anglicans decided to build closer to the town centre, it was eventually signed
over to the Benedictines, who had arrived as missionaries to help establish the
Church in the new Swan River Colony.
The first phase of the construction of St Mary's, which was completed in 1865,
not only has strong social connections with the Benedictine order, but also with
convict labour and ticket-of-leave men who assisted with the construction.
Also in 1909, following the gold-rush years, various federation-style alterations
were made, which included a steeple, porch and gargoyles, which architecturally
reflected the move towards nationhood.
By 1924, and in the wake of a brief mining boom, which stimulated population
and economic growth, Archbishop Patrick Clune announced a plan to build "a
beautiful cathedral". This marked the beginning of the second building phase,
but due to the e ects of the Great Depression, the impressive gothic cathedral
was never completed. The result was two di erent churches of di ering styles
tacked onto each other.
Architect Peter Quinn says while both were of a gothic style, the materials
and proportions used were completely di erent. The earlier cathedral was a
red-brick building, which had been rendered in 1905, with 12m-high ceilings,
while the inter-war section was built of pillowed limestone with Donnybrook
stone facings and had 18m-high ceilings.
The third building phase in 2009 concluded an endeavour spanning three
centuries. St Mary's is now complete, and has been described by Archbishop
Barry Hickey as "a harmonious juxtaposition of three buildings". Its social and
architectural evolution has been preserved in the built fabric and serves to remind
both Catholics and other visitors to the cathedral of some of the stories that make
us uniquely West Australian. St Mary's Cathedral is at 41 Victoria Square, Perth.
Two construction phases had left two churches of di ering styles tacked together
(incorporating aalto colour & Unique wallpaper)
City West Centre, Suite 18,
Plaistowe Mews WEST PERTH WA 6005
Tel: (08) 9322 2199
Fax: (08) 9322 2189 Email: email@example.com
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