Located in Island Bay, the Home of Compassion has been dedicated to supporting the needs of the aged, the powerless and the poor. Additionally, the Sisters of Compassion have begun the formal process of the Canonisation of Mother Aubert, the founder of the mission, who died in 1926. If the Vatican does bestow sainthood on Suzanne Aubert, the mission will likely become a site of pilgrimage.

In light of this, Tennent Brown has designed a side chapel off the existing 1980’s chapel, to be her final resting place and as a space for pilgrims to reflect on Suzanne Aubert’s life and their own spirituality.

The focus of the space is the sarcophagus, the natural world through a large adjacent window, and the 15th Station of the Cross window "Resurrection". This window is a drawing of the late John Drawbridge who was the artist for the stations of the cross in the existing chapel. The Sculptor Tanya Ashken, wife of John Drawbridge and her sons Tony and Cameron and the Drawbridge Trust commissioned Olaf Wehr-Candler of Pukerua Glass Studio to create the window from the drawing. Further windows have been commissioned from the studio of St John the Baptist. Tennent Brown has curated these religious art projects to compose a complete harmonising experience in the chapel, as well as designing the sarcophagus. Scale, quality of light, connection and seclusion to exterior, acoustic absorption, and the haptic effect of materiality and colour are all considerations.

Alongside the chapel development, as part of the overall master plan for the mission, Tennent Brown have developed new housing for the sisters, creating a central garden court with shared and single units clustered around .


  • 2019 NZIA Regional Architecture Award