This massive project took place at St Francis of Assisi, Mill Park, a church first designed in the 90’s. The design of the church was definitely modern and minimalist.
The renovation had been entrusted to Sister Mariella Mascitelli an italian architect from Rome specialized in religious iconography.
She undertook the design of the cross and supervised the complex italian marble floor as well as the stone artwork.
In order to counteract the blandness of the modern architecture we decided to introduce noble materials such as marble, lime, and gold.
For the decoration of the altar and the cross we had to consider the structure designed by Sister Mariella as well as the 3m high carved timber sculpture of Jesus hand painted by Italian artists. To enhance the solemn curved wall of the altar we were inspired to use a light skin colour Marmorino as if the skin of Jesus was one with it. On the Damian Cross the idea was first to magnify the “impressive” sculpture and at the same time enhance the original lead glass artwork. To contrast with the soft velvet texture of the altar wall we created a stone texture with a darker skin colour emphasizing the feeling of Jesus’ skin encircling and embracing the whole church.
The result was a structural look of a real stone holding the imposing cross. In a finishing touch to the cross, we designed a soft dark terracotta Marmorino framed with gold leaves resembling the original cross of St Damian.
in Assisi ,Italy
After the decoration of the altar the Church was thereafter flooded with light. Because of this we decided to create the effect of having an appariton as soon you step into the Church. (Grotta effect)
To achieve this we used a dark red Marmorino on the walls and ceiling enhanced with a gold wax, to create an “Aura” behind the virgin Mary statue, bringing a feeling of peace and contemplation.
Adjacent to the chapel is the confessional, where we used a warm earthy limewash on the walls and ceiling to evoke a spiritual feeling of contemplation and repentance.
The creation of the Tympanum (entrance) and the column was a real challenge in creating harmony between the modern architectural style and the classical decoration, as well as to reconcile the terracotta brickwork and the surrounding tinted windows.
In order to achieve this we decorated the two imposing columns with a light terracotta Marmorino.
We used a grey stone finish on the tympanum creating the feeling of a heavy stone, and we finished it with a terracotta wax running into the veins linking the brick pavers with the existing large tinted windows.
To bring a welcoming feeling and a sign of recognition we engraved a meaningful passage of the Bible on the Tympanum. (Gen 28:17 ;This is the house of God, the gate of Heaven).