Lapsed Anglican churches to become ECEC services in Canberra’s South

Lapsed Anglican churches to become ECEC services in Canberra’s South

by Freya Lucas

November 25, 2021

Two Anglican churches in the southern suburbs of Canberra will be demolished to make way for new early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in a proposal recently submitted to the ACT Planning and Land Authority

 

St Luke’s Deakin and All Souls Chapman have been flagged for repurposing by the Church, as congregations no longer meet at either site, and the church buildings are said to be “at end of life”. The Deakin project is expected to cost $6,440,364 while the Chapman redevelopment will be slightly cheaper at $5,153,022.

 

Along with the ECEC service, the Deakin proposal outlines two, four-bedroom, two-storey townhouses with courtyards and garages to provide accommodation for church workers. Two existing parish/clergy residences in the northeast corner and southwest corners of the triangular site will be retained.

 

Cox Architecture has designed both 120-place early learning centres, which will feed into Anglican schools and meet local demand, but they are quite different, local news source The RiotACT reports

 

Extensive play areas and planting proposed for Deakin

 

The 978-square-metre Deakin early learning centre has been designed in three sections connected by service areas and ramped corridors that also link covered courtyards opening onto 843 square metres of outdoor play areas.

 

The white brick and cladding building will have seven rooms for different age groups along with amenities, services, kitchen, staff room and a programming room.

 

Some of the eastern and western facade windows will have colourful glass, a subtle nod to the stained glass windows of the previous buildings on site. There are 14 regulated trees on the site said to be “in poor shape” which will need to be removed, as well as four on the road reserve.

 

To compensate for the loss, 15 new trees will be planted on site, including 10 within the early learning centre outdoor play area and five surrounding the new townhouses. The road reserve trees will also be replaced.

 

A new one-way internal access driveway will lead to a 23-space car park while additional parking will be provided within the surrounding streets.

 

Striking design for Chapman with dual pavilions 

 

The Chapman build will be somewhat more innovative, with two pavilions stacked at angles on top of one another, the paper noted, with the upper pavilion being on street level, aligned north to south, while the lower level will align west to east and wrap around a circular play area. 

 

At 335 square metres, the upper level will extend northward through a vertical common area, with stairs and a life to the lower level. The baby and toddler rooms have been positioned on the northern end of the upper level. 

 

Downstairs, the 655-square-metre lower level opens to the kitchen and dining area, and has five classrooms for children of various ages, connected by a circular corridor which links the classrooms to the common area, while opening to the outdoors on the other side. 

 

Also located downstairs is a kitchen, laundry, staff amenities, covered play spaces and a storeroom. A “glazed oculus” is positioned above the vertical common area to bring in light and a sense of space. 

 

The outdoor space is 984 square metres and is available across both levels. Overall, the new service has been designed to enhance Reggio Emilia practices. 

 

Both proposals will require changes to the Crown leases to allow for ECEC provision. Development applications are open for public comment until Friday 10 December. 

 

To read the original coverage of this story please see here

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