The redevelopment of Keiraview Uniting Church was borne out of the need to upgrade the existing spaces to meet contemporary needs, whilst sitting on the bedrock of a long-established site and community.
The site was an amalgam of small residential lots that were also traversed by a larger worship hall and dilapidated multi-purpose centre. Mt Keira looms large to the northwest of the site.
The original church building has been enhanced by a new entry verandah that reaches out to the street and serves as a spine that the component functions are tethered to. The verandah element provides a long horizontal counterpoint to the vertical cantilever of the existing belltower.
External verandah becomes internal foyer, creating an informal space for overflow and informal gathering after services or events. A series of meeting and storage pods break down the scale of the larger roof and create niches off the spine. The verandah roof folds down on the northern side to create a shady overhang, part solid and part perforated. The verandah and foyer also provide a place of respite to watch over activity on the grassed forecourt or the playground.
To the south of the foyer is a new multipurpose hall. A picture window frames a view to the hilltop that the church took its name from. Service spaces sit between foyer and hall allowing different groups to access the spaces from either side and providing a buffer between gathering spaces.
The central verandah-cum-foyer is a physical embodiment of the notion that so much of life’s journey happens in the ‘in-between’ on the way to somewhere.