All Souls Chapel in Rookwood Necropolis, Sydney is the largest necropolis in the southern hemisphere. We were tasked with refurbishment of the interior, restoration of the original ceiling profile and the redesign of new and existing elements to reflect the non-denominational purpose of the space. The design needed to minimise intervention and respect the existing fabric as much as possible. We also had to create the maximum amount of space for guests and worked with Rookwood General Cemetery Reserve Trust to accommodate the requirements of a wide array of guests and function types.
Our design references the original geometric decoration surrounding the parapets of the chapel while ensuring that the new additions are visually distinctive from the existing building. To create maximum visual interest for users inside the chapel, the original barrel vaulted ceiling has been restored to its former glory and celebrated with a new material covering and carefully selected lighting.
The splayed edge canopy above the new podium rakes up on both sides to increase the visual connection with the surrounding landscape; its thin edges successfully minimise visual impact in the Rookwood landscape setting. Under the translucent roof, the ceiling has been designed with up to 50% perforation to allow as much light into the podium area. Minimum fascia height has been achieved by wrapping the ceiling into the fascia. The silver grey finish of the ceiling bounces the colours of the surrounding landscape.