This site of an old sawmill in the heart of Maroochydore had lain vacant for many years, proving difficult for most development purposes. From the first visit with the client, it was clear that the undulating site with over 50% native paperbark wetland was the perfect for the chapel complex they needed. In developing the brief, it became clear that the chapel complex must embrace its special site on the Sunshine Coast and reinforce connections to family, nature and our community. The resulting design allows the beautiful coastal paperbark forest to become not just the backdrop, but an active participant in the chapel ceremonies.
The larger and smaller chapels are nondenominational in their symbolism, warm and respectful. Their interior forms focus the congregation on the ceremonial centre, yet provide expansive and private views into the bushland adjacent. In this way the experience is at the same time collective, yet personal, allowing introspection and emotional freedom.
The design discretely integrates all required functions. Structure is expressed, whilst the material and finishes palettes draw inspiration from the paper bark trees of the site. These colours and textures are reflected throughout the design.