Penrith Baptist Church
In designing the new Baptist Church in Penrith, MSK Architects’ goal was to create a comfortable environment for the parish to enjoy all year round. The client aimed to create an energetic hive of activity at the centre of Caddens. As the Penrith Baptist Church is committed to serving the Caddens community, the design of the building is founded upon community facilities. The three buildings reflect three main facilities (community hall, café/ administration and auditorium), and are linked together tp merge all elements into one central efficient organism. The main form of the Community hall and admin buildings remained simple, sheltering from solar gain and weather via generous eaves and verandas, creating a coherency with adjoining residential buildings. The auditorium, however, with its ‘fan’ shape, 250 seats and state of the art audio visual system reflects the specific audience centric purpose, opening from a central core to wider community, starting at Caddens and beyond. It serves as the main meeting room for the church and holds periodic events (as an entertainment venue) such as concerts, conferences or lectures for schools, local university or interest groups. Materials and colours reinforce coherence with neighbouring residential buildings; face brickwork and lightweight cladding in earthy neutral tones draw connection to community and toned primary coloured trims celebrate the outward focus of community centre;
Inside the church, are three small group meeting rooms folding out into one larger meeting room available for church or community activity groups such as craft, exercise, mother’s groups or even youth activities. These are generic multi-purpose rooms that can accommodate smaller groups as the community grows and needs develop.
The community hall is the main community gathering room that can hold a variety of activities depending on the requirements for the Caddens community. With the community facilities (café, auditorium, meeting rooms and community hall) structured and organised by church staff, the church remains community centric. This is also evident in the sufficient safe and secure parking spaces, as well as a child safe, soft fall children’s play area off the café.