Catholic Church

Victoria, Australia

The commission was won via a limited competition. The key concept is the creation of a place rather than a building for worship. This ‘holy place’ is located by the circle, within which an outdoor chapel, prayer walk, reflection garden, parish centre and church building are placed. By making a calm place which was easily accessible and which, by definition obviated the need to actually enter a building we argued that the traditional foreboding nature of the Church could be replaced with an informal, relaxed model which by its very nature was enticing to those members of the congregation to whom religion was becoming a marginal pursuit. The religious experience could therefore be accommodated by a quiet stroll, sitting by some water or in the outdoor chapel and so on, rather than the celebration of the mass for example. The building then became the facilitator of these possibilities as well as a statement in its in right.