Developing community compliantly
When the Gordon Baptist Church on Sydney’s Upper North Shore decided to expand its community facilities and services, it purchased an adjacent freestanding home.
The house, at 1 Garden Square, shares its 1930s Spanish Mission architectural style and heritage with the church.
However, planning to expand church facilities and activities within an existing residential neighbourhood raised visual and acoustic challenges, with music and song integral to Baptist worship.
The task of transforming the property into a compliant multipurpose church and community facility fell to DEM Architecture Studio, an international award-winning design practice which had previously restored and extended the church.
DEM group design partner Jon Pizey says the resulting design maintains the streetscape character with a restoration of the original Spanish Mission home and garden as meeting facilities and amenities.
“We have returned the house to how it originally would have looked and restored the front garden using principles of landscape architecture for Spanish Mission homes.”
In direct contrast, at the home’s rear is a new build in contemporary style – a multipurpose hall with a capacity for 80 people. The hall opens out and integrates with new outdoor spaces suitable for social gatherings and other activities.
“The Gordon Baptist Church reaches out to the greater community, and this new facility helps them do that,” Pizey says.
“It’s become a facility that the wider community can use. It’s essentially a space that the church and community can use in many ways, so it is very flexible and attracts diverse uses for different age groups.”
The hall is designed and constructed for flexibility and acoustic compliance. It features metre-thick walls concealing storage, decorative panels and specialist high-quality acoustic window and door systems and glazing.
“Glazing and window and door systems with the highest acoustic rating were critical to allow the church to host activities and services without disturbing the community,” says Pizey.
“For our purposes, Capral and Schüco offered the best-performing products on the market.”
Schüco’s ASS 70 folding doors with VLam HUSH glazing (rw 43), outward opening stackable doors supported DEM’s design intent, facilitating a wide opening seamless indoor-to-outdoor connection and greater user flexibility while meeting NCC acoustic and thermal requirements.
DEM also specified Schüco’s ADS 65 hinge doors with VLam HUSH glass (rw 43). The 65mm-deep thermally broken door suite with double glazing supports the acoustic and thermal performances of the building while offering a zero-threshold with automatic door seal for barrier free access and weather tightness.
Highlight windows run around the top of the hall’s walls, further boosting the interior’s abundant natural light. DEM selected Capral’s AGS 419 Flushline Acoustic framing system, which Capral developed to provide the highest acoustic performance. Accommodating two panes of glass separated by an acoustic gap of approximately 100mm, the 419 Flushline Acoustic framing system further supports the architect to overcome the visual and acoustic challenges without compromising the design intent.