New Gosford Meeting Hall – “Form and Function”
In one of the many picturesque valleys on the NSW Central Coast, the Plymouth Brethren have begun work on their new church for the Gosford area. Located 80kms north of Sydney, the Central Coast is home to some 300,000 people, and among them, 180+ Plymouth Brethren.
With a need to update their aging church in the region, originally constructed in 1977, The Brethren began searching the Coast for a suitable site in 2001 and purchased the current site at Lisarow in 2007. With this search over, the next task was to ensure the new church blended seamlessly in with the local environ. ‘Form and function’ was the brief.
Architects, building designers, urban planners, geotechnical engineers, environmental consultants, landscape architects, groundwater experts and more (!) were all used in the massive task of ensuring this new church would both serve the needs of the congregation, as well as provide complementary architecture to properties, nursing homes and public school located in the nearby locale.
Over a period of 18 months an interesting variety of surveys, studies and reports were carried out, including flora and fauna reports, groundwater monitoring bores and traffic studies. Nothing was left to chance to ensure all facets were covered!
After much input and interaction from the local council, nearby residents and many industry experts, on 12/11/12 the Development Application (DA) for the new church was approved!
Features of the new development include an extensive road upgrade to enhance safety and access for the church patrons and other residents in the area. The building itself boasts contemporary rural hip roof design, flowing verandah awnings, with the building being set low into the landform to minimise visual impact.
And although the total site area is 18 acres, only 3 acres will be used for immediate Church grounds. Another five acres will be subdivided to create 2 housing lots, and the remaining approximate 10 acres has been left untouched as a dedicated nature area (including Cut Rock creek which meanders through a portion of the property). The grounds will be complemented by the site’s extensive landscaping and rural-type fencing.
Whilst the big task of construction lies ahead, the Brethren are sure this will truly be an excellent example of form combining with function, as well as a much needed update from their existing facility. Watch this space!