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Church of Doubt and Conflict

Part 2 Project 2006
Julien Gouiric
University of Sydney Sydney Australia
The relationship between church and marketplace is an age-old paradox. One has always drawn the other, and yet they should remain distant and distinct. This paradox is the heart of a proposal for a mixed-use complex in West Rocks, Sydney, that acts as a connector between existing programme whilst inserting a place for worship.

The site is a narrow strip between precipice and the historic grid of the city, a forgotten void bordered by retail, Sydney observatory, a catholic educational institution, a bus stop and public housing.

The project has two components: a series of "hollow walls", or strata, each providing the nodes of fixed usage, and the main gathering spaces ( e.g. the church hall) that slice through these walls, acting as disruptors or mixing-spaces. It is a programmatic model based upon studies on the stacking and movement of shipping containers on a neighbouring site, now applied to human behavior to provide a suggestion on how multiple uses can co-exist in a free-field environment.

Julien Gouiric


The Church of Doubt and Conflict is a meditation on the vertical and the level. The area of the site, Sydneys historic Rocks district, is a highly manipulated sandstone peninsular, its outline and profile chopped away and flattened over 200 years to accommodate the pragmatic needs of industry, shipping and transport. Julien's project draws from this rich history two applications; the cut and fissure of the rock, and the inhabitation strategies of the valuable levelled lands carved from them. The church/retail outlet negotiates this terrain of removal by remaining always and only ever interstitial. A space between, always in a process of becoming.

2006
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