Iraj Thapa



Architecture & Social Agency




Resilient Individual for Resilient Neighbourhood

This project investigates engagement of St. Canice Parish Church in its neighbourhood in the changing face of King Cross and explores on reactivating St. Canice to increase its social interaction with its surrounding neighbourhood, and beyond, through new proposed activities and facilities within the existing site.

The heart of St Canice is about helping, loving and sharing, and serving the wider community. This project sets up a variety of opportunities for the community with series of places and spaces, defining the level of social engagement and interaction for individual and to the whole community, to engage in social activities and helping not-so-privileged people. Four distinct areas are located on the four corners of the site to establish four different programs.  These areas are connected by an in-between open public space ‘Courtyard’ that caters for different types of communal activities such as market, exhibition and outdoor cinema depending on time and day of the week. 

Accommodation includes communal ‘apartment’ houses for members of the Parish and emergency stay or short term stay (up to three months) for struggling members of the public. The soup kitchen, restaurant and street level café on the north east corner provide both commercial cooking and communal cooking classes. ‘Workshop house’ along Roslyn Garden Street is place for art and craft class and learning life skills. The existing lower level church hall is used for community classes and meetings. On the western side of the parish the wellbeing centre comprises wellness studios, healthy eating café and a wellness library on the upper level.

Throughout the site one can sit down and start conversations or watch the activities taking place in the courtyard. On the surrounding footpaths new seating areas for the public are provided. The design proposes to establish an open inclusive accessible communal space that above all is a place to share, help, support, engage and celebrate, and specially to provide dignity to those who are vulnerable in society.