Olive Leaf Centre – Arrowtown inspiration

Olive leaf

After nearly three years of design, planning and consultation, an application has been lodged with the Queenstown Lakes District Council for consent to build a parish and community centre on land adjacent to the historic St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Arrowtown.

Already the project has created considerable national and international interest and offers of support.

Local parishioner and project architect Mr Fred Van Brandenburg says “Our forefathers built to the best of their ability a church that was contemporary in their time.”

The inspiration for the Olive Leaf Centre came from a group of parishioners with a vision to build a place for parish gatherings and for the wider community to enjoy.

Their aim was not simply to build a “church hall” but rather to create a work of exceptional beauty, timeless elegance and functionality.

The Centre will be administered by ‘The Olive Leaf Centre Trust,’ an independent charitable body.

The Trust says that work on the project to date has been totally pro bono and it gratefully acknowledges the generosity of spirit it has inspired.

The Trust is optimistic that it will be able to fund the project through grants and donations including those from patrons of the arts.

This will be in a similar vein to the enabling of the completion of Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral and raising funds for the Hundertwasser Art Centre project in Whangarei.

The Trust has reaffirmed its commitment to delay seeking funding until Resource Consent has been obtained.

The building has been designed to be a low-level structure to minimise its visual impact and to ensure that the church remains paramount on the site.

Sunk into the ground, glimpsed through trees and shrubs, the building is viewed primarily as a series of stone walls reminiscent of the stone structures built by the early settlers.

Even the roof hovering over it will be clad in stone so that the entire structure will be read as one.

This design has it all. Like a Koru revealed by a skilled carver from within the Pounamu – a Taonga of our time.

Click here to read a full explanation of the design


Additional reading

News category: New Zealand.

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