Toodyay Church

So this isn’t in Perth, but its a cracking building, so enjoy. Toodyay Church, designed by Summerhayes in 1962. Beautiful modern church, with an exceptionally thin roof, and ‘thick’ walls. The full height glazing set back in the openings, gives the walls an appearance of being particularly thick and ‘flat’ . The walls use  local bricks with flecks of green and purple throughout the mix that really liven the building up. Great staircase inside as well.


6 responses to “Toodyay Church

  1. I like the form and the lines of this one but disagree on the bricks. I think the chaotic/rustic effect of the bricks detracts from the form of the building. They look fine in the 2nd picture (the tower and the cross) but I think that is because of the framing and the scale. The other photos highlight the bluring of edges the mottled effect of the brickwork has over the clean lines of the building. Maybe using those bricks as a zone defining element (eg around the pulpit or just on that back wall with the crucifiction on it.) would have been better?

    I also loathe that awning over the doorway but am also distracted by the wonderful conduit for the external lights.

  2. I have to disagree with Scott. The bricks make this building. They are like a beautiful, intriguing skin for the church, constantly drawing the eye; i bet small, bored parish kids have their favourite bricks on the interior of the church. ‘Zone defining element’ is just another term for ‘feature wall’ and strong architecture like Summerhayes’ does not require it.

    The conduits and the awning are probably a cheap and simple solution for issues that needed addressing, most likely by the users of the building; architecture doesn’t belong to the architect.

  3. very nice, good to see a recent post here.

    have you covered st brigid’s church midland? late twentieth century and some very nice features.

  4. Speaking of Summerhayes, any idea whether his ‘Cliff’ house at the Coombe in Mosman Park is still standing?

  5. Given the interest in the bricks used for the construction of St John the Baptist Church in Toodyay, you may be interested to know they were made for the church by the Clackline Brickworks . Apparently the brickworks only manufactured wood-fired fire bricks for industrial use – not residential and other types of buildings. This appears to have been a one-off job. There is a stained glass window inside the church which includes the brickworks (along with other icons of the Avon Valley – wheat, grapes, Avon River) as an acknowledgement of its part in the construction of the church. An early Summerhayes’ plan drawing shows an entrance porch for the church, but I suspect lack of funds was the reason there is just an awning over the entrance.

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