Provided with a brief to create a contemporary chapel that accommodated multiple religions, BVN Architecture designed this stunning Puckapunyal (pron: puck-uh-pun-yool) Military Area Memorial Chapel in Australia. The sustainably-designed project features a glazed pavilion prayer room that is screened by metal panels featuring cut outs of a field of poppies. Three large circular light shafts dapple light onto the Flanders Field Poem displayed on a courtyard wall. Three further internal courtyards have been incorporated into the building to provide privacy for the various religious denominations that use the space.
Equally as impressive as the aesthetics are the ecologically sustainable development principles deployed throughout the project. Zinc, stone and timber were chosen for their lifecycle benefits, and high performance glazing and lighting control systems reduce energy use. Rainwater is collected for toilet flushing, and building management systems monitor mechanical, electrical and hydraulic use. At the end of the project, it was estimated 70% of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfill. Judges commended BVN Architecture for the project, stating “From considered and informed materials through to low impact products and efficient services, the project highlights how sustainability can be expressed without an explicit “eco” aesthetic”. Amen to that.
It is a rare event that a place of worship is selected to win an interior design award, but just a few weeks ago the Puckapunyal Military Area Memorial Chapel in Australia did just that at the Australian 2011 Interior Design Awards. Not only did the design by prominent Australian firm BVN Architecture win the Sustainability Advancement Award, but it also won the Public Design Award and Best of State Commercial Award (Victoria).
Images © John Golling via 2011 Interior Design Awards