Wentworth Memorial Church and Quo Vadis public architecture?

This church sits on the hill, tightly surrounded by the high-end residences. I can see its tower every time I go for a local spin on my bike and I was always curious about its modern architecture. When I’ve heard, that the church is on sale, I thought I would better go and explore it now before it’s too late, when whoever buys the land will close it up for public for good. When one Saturday we went to see the church, we found a big red sticker on the board saying SOLD, so, clearly, we were already trespassing. With cold blood and in the name of Architecture I walked around one of the most fascinating sacral sites I have seen.

With so cleverly designed journey from the bottom of the hill, through the walled courtyard, up to the entrance, covered with the physical and visual extension of the main roof, you can see the clear form of the church from many different perspectives. I have also found a little timber door on the side wall of the church with no lock on it. With the attitude that nothing can stop me from appreciating the architecture in full and I’m ready to be arrested for that, I sneaked in. What a space.


The church is an example of Sydney School style of architecture, designed by Donald Gazzard c.1965 and was built as a memorial to the serviceman and women who served during WWII. Since 2012 it’s heritage listed.


Since our visit to Wentworth Memorial Church, I have been wondering what will happen to the building in the future. It cannot be demolished but if it doesn’t serve the religious purpose anymore, what function can it accommodate (the land is zoned as residential)? What activity these days would be appropriate for the citadel-like siting, in the area of few kilometres radius with nothing else but big houses and expensive cars parked along the streets? What can we do to keep this building open to the public, what would bring people there and at the same time be profitable for the owner? Where the elevated and almost spiritual way of approaching the entrance can lead?

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