The new spiritual centrepiece for Christchurch, Sisters of Mercy “Te Manawa Atawhai Catherine McAuley Centre” presents a rethinking of traditional sacred space, providing as much a place of retreat and learning as it is a chapel.
Designed by Hamish Shaw Architects, the building was opened in December 2017 and has already gone on to win numerous awards, such as the WANZ / GANZ “Designing with Glass” Award and Canterbury Architecture Awards “Public Architecture” which is part of the NZ Institute of Architects Awards program.
Glassforce was contracted by the architect and project manager to contribute to the design of the curved glass sanctuary garden, located at the centre of the building, which provides an area for contemplation and prayer.
Glassforce went on to engage Glasshape to perform a digital site measure whilst the building was under construction, from which Glasshape manufactured 3m tall constant radius bent glass panels, with varying bend radii for each panel, that on one side of the enclosure angle outwards in a conical fashion. The inclusion of curved sliding glass doors to provide access to the garden sanctuary added to the complexity of the project.
Glasshape would like to congratulate Hamish Shaw Architects and Glassforce for completing such a thoughtful and highly complex, yet aesthetically minimal and beautiful design.