Glen Forrest: Old church facelift a finalist in world architecture awards

The brickwork on the lower level, originally brick walls of the church, anchor the house to the lower site while concealing a garage, storage and workshop. Picture Peter Bennetts
The brickwork on the lower level, originally brick walls of the church, anchor the house to the lower site while concealing a garage, storage and workshop. Picture Peter Bennetts

AN architectural facelift to a historic church in the Mundaring region had led to the design being a finalist for an international award.

Designed by Iredale Pedersen Hook architects, Glen Forrest House + Church was shortlisted in the Villa category at the 2018 World Architecture Festival Awards.

The original site included the first church in the Mundaring region, which was constructed in 1903.

The Glen Forrest House + Church entry included the church, a gazebo built in the 1980s and a house all locking together without physically touching each other.

Iredale Pedersen Hook Director Adrian Iredale said his team was encouraged to push the architecture as far as they could within their budget and the environment constraints.

“Obviously having a church on the site, going from public possession to now private ownership, that did require us to operate with a certain level of sympathy in a way,” he said.

A path leading from the street was created from recycled brick. Picture Peter Bennetts

“The church became a beautiful catalyst to help demand the way we work on the site without potentially destroying the presence of the church.

“If anything, what we wanted to do was to respect the church and make sure that it had a stronger presence as a result and in some ways bringing a more preciousness through it.”

Mr Iredale said the world was waking up to the State’s architecture, with Optus Stadium among other shortlisted finalists for the festival awards.

“I think it means we no longer need to look at ourselves being isolated and marginalised in a way, architecture is getting stronger and stronger in WA,” he said.

A long veranda on the house’s north side. Picture Peter Bennetts

Award winners will be announced in The Netherlands in November.