Somervell Church

Architects: Warren and Mahoney

Size & Scope:

The vision was for a striking, low maintenance modern structure to accommodate 350 people in the worship space, plus a hall, a kindergarten, an opportunity shop and office space.

Located at the corner of Remuera and Greenlane East Roads (both main arterials), the location is both prominent and busy. Existing timber church buildings on the sloping site performed community functions that needed to be maintained during construction

The new building is constructed almost entirely of tall, thin precast panels, with a mixture of lightweight timber and proprietary precast concrete flooring, supported by the precast concrete panels, or structural steel, and covered with a lightweight steelwork roof.  In addition, two feature post-tensioned concrete items were constructed – a sixteen-and-a-half metre church spire and a seven metre cantilever entrance canopy.

Traffic management and the need for phased construction (to allow the church and kindergarten to continue functioning) posed interesting challenges.  Crane capacity (20 tonnes) and economic considerations also required some careful design decisions – for instance, the spire is constructed from high strength, lightweight concrete.

Awards: NZ Concrete Society. Monte Craven Architectural Concrete Award, 2001

Special Projects

Somervell Church