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pastoral centre

The initial idea was to create a spiritual building which was private, a solid element carved out or punched to create light and privacy. A 25 year old anniversary oak tree was retained and sparked off the idea to create a building arranged around internal courtyards with the oaktree located in the largest courtyard. As it is a spiritual and sometimes private building. It was important that views in and out were controlled to avoid disturbances and very selective openings where provided to maintain this privacy.

Courtyards have obscure glass or are focused internally; openings with clear glass provide glimpses from within and from the outside, the main entrance, fully openable doors from the main hall for use in larger gatherings, the flush square window to the west to the large meeting room and the high level sky view window over the kitchen. All windows are kept flush except for the high level kitchen window to maintain the solid feel. To signify that the building is open a large timber pivot door is opened leading one into a low stone lined entry space with a simple bench for one to sit and gather. The timber element continues as an open set of fins to create an open yet enclosed transition entry space.

The building materials are carefully limited to create a calm spiritual feeling, simple rendered walls, timber doors which one touches, stone floors and simple glazed screens affording views into the inner courtyards. Roof lights are arranged to highlight the movement of light, again signifying the spiritual nature of the building. After entering through the lower covered area one arrives into a taller space, the coffee and tea area with a small kitchen at the end allowing people to gather. The large hall has full height doors that allow for different room layouts and privacy when required and fold neatly back into the designed location. The building volume reduces as you enter the more private areas of the building, the first small room, a prayer room with its own small courtyard. Further along a glimpse of the larger tree filled courtyard starts to appear. Three more public rooms are arranged around this inner sanctum, the end of which has an obscure glazed screen to provide privacy and allow a plays of light The last room is the priest’s room, which has its own private courtyard with obscure glass screen to the outside.

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