This church and community centre provides social supports to people in Batemans Bay. The brief required the building be robust and demonstrate sustainable use of resources, both economically and environmentally. It was important that it be friendly, warm and inviting to people coming for social gatherings and family assistance. A series of strategies realise these aims through construction systems primarily comprised of engineered timber.
Strategy 1 - Box-Beam Portal Frame
The building is organised around a portal frame that uses Hoop Pine box beams for large spans, limiting costs and providing a strong sense of containment to halls. In order to ensure greater durability, Stringybark glue-lam members were integrated into those parts of the portal frames extending beyond building facades, including outriggers to rafter members and vertical struts. Plywood blades at frame bases create areas for small gatherings on the edge of halls.
Strategy 2 - Large Sliding Plywood Panels
4.2 x 2.7 metre sliding panel doors (New Guinea Rosewood frames with Hoop Pine plywood and glass panels) support flexible use of spaces. Sliding fully open, panels expand adjacent rooms into a single hall and extend rooms to gardens. Bottom rollers limit loads applied to portal frames. Together with high level timber louvres and fans, the panels enhance natural ventilation and eliminate the need for air-conditioning.
Strategy 3 - Secondary Glulam Structures
Walkways and entry canopies were fabricated out of Stringybark glue-lam and solid timber sections tied back to main portal frames allowing substantial cantilevers. These integrate paint-finished LVL rafters.
Strategy 4 - Plywood Joinery
Hoop Pine joinery and New Guinea Rosewood door and window frames create a warmer feel to the building. For example, an internal auditorium was fabricated out of plywood, with a dark hardwood edge strip for tonal contrast.