This project is about the strengthening of the role played by Christ Church Anglican church in the city of Warrnambool. The parish wished to integrate its activities under one roof by building a new Fellowship Centre that is directly connected to the historic church.
Harmer Architecture worked with a heritage advisor to produce a conservation management plan and finalise approval from Heritage Victoria who control development on the whole church site.
The integration of facilities provided by the new centre solves problems of access and moving between the previously disconnected gathering and meeting areas, before and after church services.
We envisaged the new centre as a kind of Parish House, with front (formal) and rear (informal) entrances and main spaces including a large fellowship and gathering area (living room), a kitchen at the core of the activities near the back door, a meeting room (family room), and a church office (study).
The new rooms act as a suite of informal gathering spaces that connect directly to the church where the more formal rituals of worship occur.
The key design move is the purple Canadian slate cladding that is a visual reference to the slate roof of the church, but with subtle details that reinvent a roofing material as a wall cladding, and make the new building complementary to but distinct from the church.