This project is the restoration of the 95 years old Sheng Kung Hui’s St. Paul’s Church. It is the transformation of the Church and its Annex (Shuet Hing Lau) into a Church Complex that also caters for kindergarten use, multiple religious activities and day-to-day administrative support.
The Church Complex of 2 levels is situated along a steep slope at Glenealy, Central.
Church as the Main Body
The main body of the Church is where religious rituals are conducted. It is a place for solemn worship and gathering for the followers of God. Below the Church is the kindergarten, where Christian education is provided to the young members of the Christian family.
Shuet Hing Lau as the Annex
The Annex is where the pastors used to live. Due to the change in living pattern, the upper floor of the Annex is converted to the Pastor’s Office with the general office for supporting staff for day-to-day administrative support. The lower floor of the Annex is a place for social gatherings.
Methodology and Approach
No fancy architectural solutions were employed. Design styles and materials were chosen to fit for the project’s original style. It is as if using acrylic paint to restore a Picasso painting while Chinese ink is chosen to restore Zhang Daqian’s works. Preservation of Historical ElementsAll major historical ornaments, motifs and features, such as the timber windows, stained glass and the colour of the external facade, are restored to its original flavour after carefully studying the Church’s relevant historical architectural literature.
Waterproofing at the roof and roof truss maintenance were carried out as part of the restoration. External wall was redone for betterment. Timber flooring was also made good so as to allow the Church to last for many more years in the future.
Concealed lighting was employed to enhance the character and atmosphere without disturbing the original outlook and its unique style. Special antique style lamps were chosen at selected internal locations to match with the overall design. Lighting at the function room at the Church can be tuned to fit different occasions: general lighting can be used when kindergarten classes are in place, while stage lighting can be chosen for performances.
Flexibility to fit for modern usage
The highlight of the design is to fit in different functions for different religious activities. To cope with the required flexibility, electrical and mechanical installation were restructured.
Newly installed flexible sound-proof internal partitions allow 4 rooms for kindergarten use on weekdays or 6 rooms for small group discussion at Bible Study Classes at the main Church building on Sundays. The easily convertible configuration allows stage performances as well. When all opened up, the full scale hall space plus the stage double up the Church’s original capacity for large scale events such as 95th Anniversary celebrations.
Flexible partitions are also installed in Shuet Hing Lau at the Sitting Area. They allow a large room for fellowship gathering or two rooms for small group discussions.
Holistic Approach to IT/AV systems
Adaptive Devices are introduced into the Church Complex with newly introduced IT systems and audio-visual equipment for contemporary usages. The Church and the kindergarten have installed a new AV system with TV, projector screen, speakers, etc, to provide a clear vision of Church service and also to cater for the different uses. IT/AV systems at the Church, the Annex and other St. Paul’s properties along Glenealy are all linked up. Users can participate in the Church’s events in all these locations. The routing of these cables are carefully planned and concealed such that they would not disrupt the appearance of the Buildings.