July 2012DACA was awarded both the Blacket Prize for Regional Architecture and an Architecture Award for Public Architecture at the 2012 NSW Institute of Architects Awards. We’d like to say a huge thank you to our wonderful client and consultant team with whom we are pleased to share these prizes. Click below to read the Award Jury’s Citation.
Jury Citation – Silvester Fuller – Dapto Anglican Church Auditorium
Devoid of religious motifs and inspired by the idea that the congregation is defined by its people, not its building; the Dapto Anglican Church Auditorium challenges and reinterprets a conventional community church. The architecture is contemporary, confident, bare and unexpected; an uncompromising approach that has been embraced by this regional community. A large combined foyer and café frame the entry and street interface with full-height shopfront glazing and forecourt seating a – ‘central hub’ that links the existing hall day care centre and new 500 seat ‘black box’ theatre as an integrated venue for both church and the Dapto community. The dramatic transition from the stark white and day lit foyer to the dark auditorium creates intimacy and singular focus toward the stage. Exposed services and the roof structure within the auditorium are simply concealed with darkness. Within a restricted budget, the architects have balanced generous and functional space with material richness derived from an extremely economical palette that employs simple but innovative techniques to create a varied range of textures in tilt-up and in situ concrete. The minimalist composition and stark use of colour highlights internal space and function, and adds scale to external openings that have subsequently been used as a canvas to signify particular themes or uses. The budget has been bolstered by the congregation’s involvement in landscaping, fit out and ongoing building maintenance that in turn creates a sense of ownership. A strong client/architect relationship is evident; the architects’ work displays great care, respect, and a willingness to challenge preconceptions; the Church has responded to this dedication with trust and support. The result is a compelling new venue that blurs the distinction between religious and community space and defines a contemporary expression crafted out of the Anglican liturgy and mission that has broadened attendance at church services. The Dapto Anglican Church Auditorium makes a fine and promising first public building for a new practice and a significant contribution to this regional community.