Architecture and the Soul of the City

Buildings and public spaces tell a story about what our culture values and who belongs.

This week, Life & Faith channels popular TV program Grand Designs through its focus on the built environment and how our public spaces express ideals and aspirations for our life together. 

Our guest is Kamila Soh, who is pursuing a Masters in architectural history at the University of New South Wales. 

Kamila recently contributed a column to The Catholic Weekly about 111 Castlereagh, a luxury apartment development in Sydney boasting pristine views of Sydney Harbour, Hyde Park, and St Mary’s Cathedral. She contrasts the cathedral with the glamorous high-rise – where an off the plan penthouse sold for A$35 million in 2021 – and suggests that the church is a genuinely public space while the exclusive development is not.

We also discuss the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral, which revealed the emotional and spiritual connections people feel to place.

Then there’s the growing recognition that we navigate public space via our phones, like posting photos to social media. But what if we need less – not more – stimulation, especially after two years of lockdown and Zoom fatigue? Kamila suggests what we need from public space are spaces for contemplation and opportunities to genuinely connect with each other.


Kamila Soh’s column in The Catholic Weekly

A glimpse of the lifestyle promises of 111 Castlereagh – hit “play film”

Kamila’s article on the way architecture frames our relationships with each other – explored through working from home during lockdown and people’s responses to the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral

Simon’s article on Easter and the burning of Notre Dame Cathedral