Click the bird, scroll down and follow the slides while listening to the audio commentary.
I’m here on behalf of Studio Pacific Architecture and the many parishioners who have given so much of their time, energy and talents to get us to where we now are. The slides you will see are about the Footprint and Bulk Location as it is known – a briefing on the preliminary church design and the placement on the site of the various elements of our new Parish centre.
You’ll recall Studio Pacific Architecture presenting the design concepts and the historical background. Our Mother Mary – the cloak that warms and shelters us (the two embodied in the statue of Mary gifted by US Marines in 1942 – now standing above the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at St Patricks). The Book, the Word, Mary – in whom the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. And the familiar Kapiti shapes of wind formed sand dunes and pipis.
This brings yesterday into today’s context. We see the lines connecting the sites – yesterday, through today, and into tomorrow. The beginnings – in the south at Our Lady of Lourdes – the north at Pukekaraka. Between them Our Lady of Fatima, St Patricks, St Paul’s by the Sea and of course our iconic statue of Mary. And, just this weekend, further evidence that history is constantly being reshaped – Cardinal John’s advice that the Marist community will be leaving Otaki and Levin at the end of this year.
Here we see the relationship of the site to its neighbours. Kapiti Road, Milne Drive, the main entrance to the site, the drop off and parking areas, the Atea, the Church, the school, Andrews Pond and water catchment, and the Kapiti Retirement Trust at Midlands. There’s also a hall – a multi purpose facility to be owned jointly by the parish and the school. Immediately to the west is the proposed location for our youth ministry, provision also for the food bank and St Vincent de Paul and, further into the future, perhaps a crèche. The industrial land at the northern end of the site will be sold (to appropriate purchasers) thus making a useful reduction in our parish debt. Of course, if fundraising shows sufficient generosity, we may not need to sell this land at all and it can be used for future parish development.
This gives a good picture of the way the site works. The Atea is a community space – weddings, funerals, celebrations, and it links the church, the school and the hall. We see the historical axis through the planned church – north to Pukekaraka, south to Paekakariki. Sight lines from the chapel go north to Our Lady of Fatima – sight lines from the body of the church towards St Patricks and the statue of Mary. The site will be appropriately landscaped and planted and, in accordance with best practice, all rain water will be collected and treated on site.
And this is the preliminary design of our new church – I stress preliminary because much of the detail is still to be determined. But I can “walk you through” the main elements. The main entrance leads into the main hallway. On the left is the entrance to the Chapel which contains the Tabernacle. The wall separating Chapel and Church is of folding glassed doors. The main body of the church cradles the altar. Clever design of both glazed and solid walls allows natural light while impeding visual distraction. The gathering space is exactly that but it also becomes space for extra seating on occasions like Christmas and Easter. The western side of the building houses meeting spaces, kitchen, and parish administration. Again, the design links North, South and East of the church history of Kapiti.
This cross section shows the gentle slope towards the Altar. It also gives hints to the environmental conscience of the whole building. Natural ventilation is provided by the intake of fresh air from the under floor space which is then exhausted via the Chapel ceiling. This system also helps with acoustic separation. The structural frames will be laminated veneer timber which reduces the building’s carbon footprint. Radiant heaters are proposed for the larger spaces – their intermittent use precludes a totally “off the grid” system which remains stubbornly expensive.
So – this is our new church, viewed from the north, with the relocated school beyond. And if your first thought is “Where’s the Crucifix?” the answer is there are several position options currently under discussion. Timber will be used extensively in the construction – many parishioners have commented on the visual warmth of wood (such as in Our Lady of Fatima). Earthquake codes as we all know are strict and robust, as are the elements of safety and security. All these facets will be attended to.
CONCLUSION: – So, what’s next?
More detailed work so that the design can be presented to the site’s neighbours and to the District Council – resource consent is never a “given”. Earthworks will begin on site towards the end of this year – construction of the school is due to begin in January of next year so that the school can open for the start of the 2017 school year. Church construction will follow the school construction with a view to reaching conclusion later in 2017.
Fundraising will now begin in earnest – we now having something tangible to show you and others who we hope will be generous. Total costs – and they never stand still as we know – are in the order of $5 - $6 million.
The next real estate to be readied for sale will centre on St Patrick’s church, the presbytery and the school – obviously possession of the school land can’t be given until the new school is ready. Quite probably Our Lady of Fatima will become the sole centre of worship for a time.
And, finally, as always, your comments and feedback are encouraged. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, comments can be mailed or delivered to the parish office, and there’ll be a suggestion box available here after Mass this morning. If you require a response to your comment or question then please include your contact details.