Spirit of Place


“We had to find ourselves; our feet rang strangely on the red brick floor of the cloisters, as we marched for the first time along them to prayers…” – Joan Duffield, 1928

This honest reflection of a new-school experience seems to share our own philosophy behind the renewal of the beloved Toorak College Chapel; a space for solace, privacy and wellbeing. A structure built by a community, for a community.

After moving locations from central Melbourne to Mt Eliza on the Mornington Peninsula in 1928, Toorak College found a new home amongst the eucalypts and salty air, with day students and borders alike embracing the spirit of tradition, open-mindedness, innovation and individuality. Built in 1975 with the benevolent support of the School’s dedicated Collegians, the Chapel is a special place on the campus described as containing the ‘spirit of the school’.

Toorak College Chapel found itself transformed when we brightened its dark and heavy appearance, democratised its spatial relationships and utilised the symbolism of colour, uncovering its simple essence. Bleached beech, a levelled floorplate and rich cobalt blue form a quiet space for the student community to reflect on their past, meditate on the present and imagine a bright future. A respectful transformation that retains the spirit of place.

See the full project here.

Photography: James Geer


  • Interior Design
  • Space Planning
  • Creative Direction
  • Furniture Selection