The Hybrid Cathedral proposed a new typology for a place of worship by connecting faith and social enterprise with commercial venture using mathematical equations to mediate the three. It is a study into how the economics of housing, aged care and a business hotel can fund the creation of a new cathedral for the recently established Melbourne Docklands, while also funding the Church’s ongoing social work.
Sited upon a man-made rise re-establishing Melbourne’s Batman’s Hill, which was demolished in the 1860s, the cathedral reveals itself externally through the spiritually significant east and west facades whilst the north and south facades reference the detailing of apartment buildings in the local context.
The design is derived from a set of mathematical equations which, within their parameters, have the ability to mediate between the sacred geometry of past cathedrals and the diverse and disparate functions that inhabit this new one’s skin. Ultimately the cathedral’s structure and geometry can be distilled and communicated by a few lines within an equation. By being of the world of numbers, it can be internationally communicated without prejudice. It can then be easily recreated, altered, added to, subtracted from and influenced by whoever comes in contact with it, therefore breaking down or adding to the ownership and authorship of the design.