Catherine McAuley Centre , Christchurch

Architect/Designer: Hamish Shaw Architects     Contractor/Installer: Modo Flooring Christchurch

Catherine McAuley Centre

Catherine McAuley, the founder of the NZ sisters of Mercy was known for her black woollen shawl.  This and the ancient Greek symbol of the ichthys, the Christian fish, were used as inspiration by Hamish Shaw Architects for the new Catherine McAuley Centre.  Part of Villa Maria College in Riccarton, the 406m2 centre was purpose built for the Sisters of Mercy to celebrate 100 years of delivering quality education for girls from Catholic families in and around Canterbury.

The Catherine McAuley centre was the winner of the coveted Public Architecture award at the Canterbury Architecture Awards and the buildings Pounamu Mercy Cross was named as a finalist in the Interior Awards for 2018.  The Pounamu Mercy Cross is a symbol of the merging of Maoridom and Catholicism, with the shape following the Mercy pattern of a cross, and a Pounamu cross inset referencing the idea of Papatuanuku, Earth Mother reaching towards Ranginui, Sky Father.

Different flooring and wall materials were used in the design to differentiate the main areas of the building.  Timber walls and Shaw Material Matters Vapour Carpet tile were used to define the worship side of the building, while in contrast the office spaces and mezzanine museum area contrast with white walls and Tarkett Noble Plank timber floors.  Refin Deck ceramic tiles were used in the toilet block to keep the wood them while allowing for easy maintenance and durability.

Products used: Shaw Material Matters Vapour carpet tile, Colour: Dreamy; Tarkett Noble Plank timber floor, Colour: Wasa (available on indent); Refin Deck ceramic tile, Colour: Bright.

Products used