Architects: Poiesis Architects
- Area: 154 m²
- Year: 2017
Photographs:Khoo Guo Jie (Studio Periphery), Roland Tan Yeow Teck
Manufacturers: EDL, Hione, OberSurfaces
Text description provided by the architects. Emmanuel @ Everitt is a small church sitting on a 200 sqm sliver of land in a mature landed residential estate. The original church occupied a single storey corner terrace house built in the 1940s. Plans for rebuilding came about after heavy downpour in October 2010 caused serious damage, rendering it unsafe for occupation.
The unique setting of a religious building in a residential area caused concern to the planning authority. A protracted 4-year appeal process eventually rezoned the residential site as Place of Worship in April 2015, with the total floor area capped at original building footprint. Completed in September 2017, rebuilding this church took 7 years.
The church consists of 3 key areas- The Sanctuary, Fellowship Area and the Church Office/Pantry. The Sanctuary seats 60 people.
While being elevated for flood protection, a singular off-form concrete volume was conceived, in line with the scale and height of the neighbourhood, creating a sensitive insertion into its existing fabric. Sky-lights punctuate the spaces, an allusion to the church as the Light of The World. Biblical names of God – Jesus, Christ, Saviour are strategically positioned within a naturally lit stairwell connecting 2 floors.
A lush garden terrace on the roof required delicately balances the austere grey of the concrete volume. 3 large fibreglass planter boxes, each planted with 3 numbers of Caesalpinia ferrea trees alludes to the symbolism of the Trinitarian God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Emmanuel @ Everitt aspires to foster community spirit and encourage social sustainability by blending well into the neighbourhood, making it more than just a place of worship. Unlike the surrounding gated houses, doing away with a physical gate and party walls that slope back truly creates an open and welcoming environment for the people.
Since its opening, neighbours have been dropping by for coffee and conversations, bringing back a “kampong” spirit, a Malay term for village or neighbourly camaraderie.