From an initial list of nine architects, Noel Robinson was appointed the architect to the Anglican Church of Australia for the design of the Anglican National Centre in Canberra. The idea presented reinforced the traditional cathedral east-west axial plan, where the design takes into account the geographic surroundings, and the philosophy that the church sees itself in a serving role and does not in this instance wish to continue the grand cathedral image.
Robinson Newsletter – Noel Robinson Architects
ANGLICAN NATIONAL CENTRE, CANBERRA
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On the 27th of August, the General Synod of the Anglican Church voted to proceed with the Anglican National Centre in Canberra. The new centre will give the Anglican Church a strong presence in the national capital.
The site, given to the church in the early 1900s is currently occupied by St Marks Library, and the National Theological Library and Training Institute. Although it is in a prominent position on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin, the site has remained largely undeveloped.
The new centre will be seen form the viewing platforms of the new Parliament House, from Kings Avenue, Mount Ainslie, and from the northern shores of the lake.
The National Anglican Centre comprises a major conference/worship centre with a capacity of 1000 people designed for multi-media presentation; a resource centre; a training institute; a visitors centre including craft workshops; a vernacular church; and an on-site residential complex. The centre will create a campus community similar to a traditional minster.
The conceptual design draws on traditional formal planning, interacting with a strong civic axis created by Mount Ainslie and the Carillion.
An Australian vernacular church will be brought onto the site providing an historic reference – a “starting point” for the new buildings which will be developed to reflect the Australian visual image of the church. The proposed pitch rooves draw on the traditional Australian church forms.
It is anticipated that the base of the buildings will be constructed of stone with the contemporary light building form springing form the strong base.
The conference/worship centre is multi-functional. It will have flexible internal spaces and floors systems able to be adjusted for concerts, recitals, theatre and conferences. The building will be designed for multi-media presentation, and will be the first purpose built building of its type in Australia able to provide facilities for religious media production. It will also be the venue for national church conferences, such as General Synod.
Stage 1 of the project will be substantially underway by 1988 for the bicentenary celebrations. This stage will be the construction of the conference/worship centre, the visitors centre, the vernacular church, and a portion of the residential accommodation.
The second stage, which is likely to be commissioned in 1989 will see the completion of all the buildings including the resource centre, the training institute, the balance of the residential component, the craft workshop, and the restoration of St Marks Library as offices.
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Interested in other cultural projects by Noel Robinson and the team at NRA Collaborative- this page has what you are looking for.