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Church Of Christ | Chennai
Aswin Senthil, Kartik Nakkana
Situated in suburban Chennai, Church of Christ grew from being a small temporary bamboo structure on the clients rooftop to a small monolithic brick sanctuary in Poonamalle. In the Sub-urban context of Poonamalle, the main concern was to provide a space which would marry the socio-cultural expectations of a Church with the economic framework and dynamics of and around the site. The idea lead to employing a frugal approach forgoing any form of ornamentation and extravagance reflecting humble preaching's of the church.
The church was not only intended for preaching but also as a space to give back to the community. The open plan allows the prayer hall to function as a multifunctional space acting as a community center, learning spaces, festivals, workshops, functions, social gatherings, performances, plays, temporary health care and many more.
With an area of 2136 sq. ft, the intention behind the design is to minimise the cost which is usually spent heavily on concrete. The church takes a frugal approach employing a roofing system with a framework of bamboo trusses and currogated roofing sheets. The structure, which is load bearing is also devoid of heavy usage of concrete employing a brick jali envelope which creates a breathable and porous skin opening the inner congregation to larger public audience.
The inner prayer hall accommodates around 120 congregants at a time. The brick jali walkway works as a spillover worship space opening the inner ceremony to outside public audience in cases of larger gatherings. To include much larger public audience to be part of the congregation a brick jali wall is set forth at the entrance too.
The narrow opening becomes the entrance which directs one towards the spillover walkway surrounded with lawn on oneside and semi transparent brick jali on the other connecting external congregants to the inner gathering. Further a the temporary movable furniture allows multiprogram nature of the space to morph as per the need of the gathering. The bamboo truss is supported at the corners by dual bamboo columns which morph into a seating space for the spillover areas.
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