The Xavier College Memorial Chapel is a familiar landmark in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs. Its dome is the most widely visible part of the school’s senior campus, overlooking its playing fields on Barkers Road. We recently completed a conservation management plan for the whole site — a key input into the College’s new master plan — and prepared a heritage impact statement in support of the approvals process for a new Year 7 & 8 building, now under construction.
The Xavier College Master Plan (2020) was prepared by MGS Architects as a guide to the future development of the heritage-listed campus. The CMP was a foundation document, feeding information into the strategic planning. It informed the proposed design of the new building, the construction of which forms the first phase of master plan implementation. And it also informed the design of the works to the oval and the landscape.
[ The Memorial Chapel overlooking the Chapel Oval at Xavier College, photo : Michael Cook at Lovell Chen ]
The Year 7 & 8 building will be called the Kostka Building, as it brings junior students from the now-closed separate Kostka Hall campus to join the seniors. The Xavier primary school remains at Burke Hall on Studley Park Road. The heritage impact statement we prepared covers this first phase of works, which also includes the creation of a new carpark under the Chapel Oval, consolidating disparate parking arrangements, limiting pedestrian/car interactions and improving the presentation of the site.
[ The heritage-listed campus. The registered buildings are at top right, plan : Lovell Chen ]
[ The Kostka Building, render : courtesy MGS Architects, Xavier College ]
The objectives of the CMP included confirmation of the heritage values of the place and its constituent elements — four buildings are identified in the registration, as well as the site itself — and reviewing the relevant heritage controls. A heritage framework was developed for the buildings and landscape, consistent with the values identified, and guidance was provided.
[ Xavier College (after 1934), photo : courtesy State Library of Victoria ]
We continue to provide heritage advice to Xavier College.
Xavier is a Jesuit college, founded in the 1870s. The site was purchased in 1871, and the first building (now the South Wing) was designed by Melbourne architect T.A. Kelly, though not all his design was implemented. The College opened officially in February 1878, with 92 students, 71 of whom were boarders. The West Wing followed in 1889 (Tappin, Gilbert & Dennehy), the Great Hall in 1890, and the Memorial Chapel in 1934 (Schreiber and Jorgenson) as a shrine to former students lost in World War I.