Laingholm Baptist Church has been established on the site at the corner of Huia & Victory Rds for over 40 years and built their current auditorium in the mid-1970’s. Children’s & youth and other support ministries, as well as the main kitchen and ablutions, were housed in an adjacent building, an old (circa 1920’s) cottage, which, after many years of service, was in very poor condition. The cottage as it stood became unsafe and inadequate for the programmes that were being run out of it so the decision was taken in late 2010 to look at possible options for the re-development of the site & buildings.
As with all church projects, there were numerous complex issues to be addressed. Strachan Group Architects were heavily involved as an integral part of the extremely protracted needs analysis, budgeting and briefing process, running discussion forums & design workshops & assessing feedback prior to undertaking design work.
The complex is conceived of as a community hub, located at the intersection of Laingholm’s main road and on the only route from Titirangi to neighbouring communities at Parau, Cornwallis, Huia and out to Whatipu and is intended to serve all these communities and to provide for community group meetings and activities over and above the church’s normal operations.
The re-development includes re-purposing of part of the existing main building to accommodate a community shop and an upgraded café space to provide a better outdoor connection and a covered outdoor area. An addition to the existing building then accommodates new kitchen and ablutions facilities as well as additional much-needed storage areas and a formal entry. Completing the community of buildings are pastoral offices, flexible teaching spaces and communal meeting rooms arranged around a large north-facing courtyard and connected to each other and to the main building by a covered veranda walkway.