Sydney's rapid population growth demands housing but also the need for supporting community fabric. The New Life Church is woven into the heart of the townscape prominently positioned within a suburban street context, close to houses, schools and retail, right amongst the people. In an environment that encourages car use, New Life is a church to which you can walk or cycle.
Central to the design idea was the unification of the community under a navigation point marker. Rising on a crest, the floating multi-coloured glass tower is situated on a north-south axis along the main arrival avenue. Symbolically it brings together the mix of people of the new community and through form and materiality there is a dialogue of an ancient story with new meaning: the strength and permanency of deep reveal concrete blades, the transparency of space promoting connection, and the patina of the corten screen gently maturing.
The light-filled openness of the worship space and foyer reflects the social interaction of the church. The internal spaces seamlessly touch the outside through stacked glazed doors opening to the sun-drenched forecourt clearly showcasing church activities and creating a transparent connectedness with the suburb. The open transparent ideas support the key sustainability initiatives of harnessing natural light and ventilation. The result is an inviting space with a strength of connectedness throughout its context.
The design reflects a new evolution in church design where transparency and openness create a socially connected environment clearly communicating invitation and activation. It sets a new transparent tone for ecclesiastical worship centres. The design re-establishes the idea of a community focused church and evokes a sense of civic pride and ownership.