WALKING along Henna Street in Warrnambool it is easy to overlook a humble grey building adjoining the historic Anglican Christ Church.
But it was this clever concept that helped the building snare a top award earlier this year for the best regional design.
This week the framed award and commendations found their way inside the new Hammond Fellowship Centre and into the hands of the parish.
The $1.6 million scheme claimed the best project in regional victoria for 2012 and also received a commendation in the heritage and public architecture categories at the Australian Institute of Architects awards
For more than 10 years churchgoers waited for a nearby space for church functions while Harmer Architects created a heritage-friendly design that wouldn’t overwhelm the 19th century church.
“We kept it low so it doesn’t interrupt the view of the existing church,” design architect Philip Harmer said. “That’s why it’s on an angle so on the street you can see straight up to the church tower.
“The idea behind the building was that this was really their parish house … a place where they meet right next to the church.
“The architects’ awards are keenly fought for by us every year and for a little project like this, to get three (awards and commendations) is an extraordinary achievement.”
Anglican parish rector Father Scott Lowrey said the modern extension had been well received by parishioners since it was finished in June last year.