Jan 2024

St. Joseph’s Church Fanling marks milestone with completion of expansion project

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St. Joseph’s Church Fanling is a Roman Catholic parish church. It was originally built in 1953 on land which Father Ambrose Poletti had persuaded a local businessman to donate to the church. The original church building, together with the activity block and the residence, was constructed of stone, utilising simple, domestic, traditional, and yet dignified forms. These reflect European aesthetics, with occasional Chinese elements. Due to its significant social and architectural values, the church was listed as Grade 3 by the Antiquities and Monuments Office in 2011.

The paddy fields that once surrounded the church ground have now become roads and buildings of an urban new town.

In 2009, it became known that the adjoining open car park, which originally belonged to the church, would be available for development. Leigh & Orange was appointed to quickly produce a design scheme to assist in the land acquisition process.

In 2014, Leigh & Orange won the design competition and became the Architect for the extension project. Showing respect for heritage, the design scheme sinks the new assembly hall as a basement, and by doing so creates a series of terraces overlooking a large front plaza, accentuating the prominence of the existing church building. The design also enriches the religious experience with shade and light, echoing the Seven Sorrows and Joys of St. Joseph – the Patron Saint of the church. The pyramid skylight above the new altar in the basement exudes biblical imagery and stories.

On 6th January 2024, the consecration of the new wing of St. Joseph’s Church Fanling was held, presided over by Cardinal Stephen Chow Sau Yan, SJ, Bishop of Hong Kong. The ceremony marked the completion of a fifteen-year of endeavour, with which Leigh & Orange is blessed to be associated.

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