This is All Souls Anglican Church situated at Christchurch in New Zealand. The new 1045-sq.m structure was built in 2019 to replace and unite St. Mary’s and St. Matthew’s churches, both damaged and demolished as a result of the devastating Canterbury earthquakes. The new structure has a unique design. Do you know what theme the design is based on?
“Our purpose is to serve and heal the world by building neighbourhoods that live out the Gospel imperative to love and care,” says the Church and that was guiding principle followed by Warren and Mahoney Architects Ltd who designed the new building.
Anglican Diocese’s strategic objectives were ‘Faithful Stewardship’, ‘Christ Centred Mission’ and ‘Young Leaders’. In response, the architect developed a functional design response brief with ‘Sustainability’, ‘Ambition’ and ‘Relevance’ as themes. Staying true to the functional brief, planning was respectful in retaining existing trees, secular aesthetics for flexibility and multi-functional halls for contribution to the local community.
Unique design of foyer and chapel make all the difference. The foyer is spacious and beautifully lit, with one glass wall to let in lots of natural light. This space can accommodate up to 40 people and has access to the main Worship space, Chapel, kitchen and hall. Large sliding doors open up onto a beautiful wooden porch and fern garden with reclaimed church bells.
The central chapel is a landmark that pulls the focus down Church Lane from Papanui Road. Within the chapel, the past is reflected with an array-display of original stained-glass windows recovered from St. Mary’s and St. Matthew’s church, pain staggeringly restored piece-by-piece to original condition.
The themes are carried on to the main worship space, where the floorplan accommodates flexible seating arrangements with removable platforms. According to architects, acoustic engineering was a challenge because ideal reverberation for music versus speech are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Customised perforations on ceilings and walls meticulously articulate well-balanced reverberation for various types of use. Acoustic plasterboard walls double as a resemblance to ‘the river of life’ in the shape of Canterbury’s Waimakariri braided river.