Centre for Architecture Theory Criticism History
School of Architecture

Communities of faith: Queensland's post-war Church Building Designs

Friday, 3 June 2016

Following 15 years working as a practising architect, 2016 sees Lisa Marie Daunt return to UQ as a PhD Candidate. Lisa is researching Queensland’s post-war Church Building Designs. This research will build on the research she did for her 2000 undergraduate thesis - Responses in Ecclesiology; Examples of Brisbane Church Building Design in the 1960s.

The working title for Lisa’s project is "Communities of faith: Modern church architecture in Queensland 1950s-1970s."

The twentieth century was a time of massive upheaval in the intellectual, theological and architectural spheres of society. Two world wars, massive post-war population growth and a building boom coincided with the Second Vatican Council and the liturgical Movement within the Church and encountered the Modern Movement in architecture. This prompted a demand for a re-evaluation of Church building design.

In post-war Queensland new approaches to church building design emerged, with widely diverging results. The architects, denominations and church parishes within the city – although all sought to address liturgical change and emphasise the active participation of the congregation in the services – held different opinions on how church design could be adapted to modern times. Liturgical change, modern architecture and regional climate considerations provided compounding opportunity to rethink church design from first principles.

Lisa’s interest in church design started well before she started to study architecture and continues to interest her - this is a building typology which can transcend, inspire and delight, when executed with significant craftsmanship and when of skilful design.  However, the requirements of church design are a lot more involved than is often apparent at first glance, Lisa’s research into post-war church architecture will critically analysis context, influences, trends and exemplars of Queensland post-war church design.