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The Chapel Building at St Joseph’s College, Ipswich, Suffolk.

With its clean internal lines, Mondrian inspired stained glass and dramatic Verdigris roof, the handsome chapel has been a much-loved feature of the College since it was built on land between the Senior and Prep Schools, opening in 1967. It became the gathering point for the whole school for assemblies, prizegiving ceremonies, concerts and worship; the calm yet inspiring space families came to on first looking for a school for their children and the nostalgic setting for final goodbyes for Sixth Formers.

Sadly, a flaw in the dramatic 1960s design allowed rain damage to accumulate and back in February 2017 the building was closed with regret. A subsequent inspection established the extent of the damage and consultations began on how to restore ‘the heart of St Joseph’s’. Plans were drawn up and a massive fundraising campaign launched to support the Ipswich independent school’s bill for repair and refurbishment.

Elliston, Steady & Hawes were appointed as Main Contractor to undertake:

  • The complete overhaul of the existing cupula and contractor designed & installed purpose made aluminium rooflight to match as closely the system that was being overhauled including designing out the defect in the original system which had contributed to the structural damage to the building
  • Extensive leadworks to high level atrium
  • Extensive structural repairs to the existing glulam boomerang frame and new gutter lining works
  • Design and installation of a full internal structural scaffolding and external scaffolding
  • Re-location of the existing alter and construction of a new stage
  • Overhauling the existing timber floor finish & re-sealing
  • Full electrical upgrades and lighting design and upgrades
  • Heating design upgrades
  • Full external and internal re-decorations

We were delighted to hand back the completed Chapel Building and once again return the heart of the school to St Josephs College.