Wesleyan House Methodist Church embraces a challenging site in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. The building both provides a serene sanctuary space for worshippers in this bustling location and enriches the surrounding urban fabric. The project stands on a teardrop-shaped site at the corner of Queen’s Road East – a major four-lane road, and Kennedy Road. The site itself is tight: as 11,000m² of program needs to fit on an 800m² plot, the building inevitably needs to go up.
▼建筑与街景，the building and street view
The exterior design creates an entry sequence that transitions from the busy streetscape to the peaceful sanctuary within. A gently curving facade manifests the notion of embracing and flowing, creating a robust presence on Queen’s Road East while ushering visitors into a public plaza that separates the church from the street. This public plaza peels away to transition from the city towards the peaceful sanctuary within. Set on the intersection, it acts as a hinge that improves pedestrian connectivity between these two roads, creates open sightlines in the dense context, and offers a much needed public gathering space.
street-facing entrance hall on the ground floor of the building
▼从街对面看向入口大厅，look across the street at the entrance hall
▼入口大厅内部，inside the entrance hall
▼从入口大厅上楼，到达主教堂门口，go upstairs from the entrance hall to the main church
▼主教堂门口区域有通向更高楼层的电梯，the entrance area of the main church has elevators leading to higher floors
People arrive greeted by the music from the carillon, pass by the historic stone wall, the tree of life, and the inscribed plaques through a blending of inside and outside spaces that helps to foster their mood for worship. The main sanctuary has a restrained material and color palette to create a peaceful and solemn worship place. Natural daylight focuses on the altar with a backdrop of an eight meters tall wall in pure solid white, punctuated along by a glazed cross-shaped opening. The light scope above the ceiling softens and diffuses the sunlight onto the altar.
▼自然光聚焦在主教堂的祭坛上，其背景为八米高、带有玻璃十字形开口的纯白色墙壁，natural daylight focuses on the altar with a backdrop of an eight meters tall wall in pure solid white, punctuated along by a glazed cross-shaped opening
▼主教堂采用了克制的材料和配色，the main sanctuary has a restrained material and color palette
As such, the design creates a vertical church, integrating the sanctuary, chapels, activity halls, social service floors, and pastoral offices into a tower. Wesleyan House building defines its skyline by slanting gently and subtly from the base to the top to project its image as a religious institution. The resulting skyscraper church offers unique opportunities to create signature spaces for worship. The sky chapel on the top floor of the tower boasts sweeping views of the harbor to the north and the hills to the south, creating a unique space that takes advantage of the beauty of the surroundings.
▼位于建筑顶层的天空教堂，the sky chapel on the top floor
sweeping views of the harbor to the north and the hills to the south
▼往北边，可以尽情欣赏周围的城市美景，to the north, you can enjoy the beauty of the surrounding city
Carefully considered adjacencies optimize church operations. A large congregation hall sits above the main sanctuary, inviting worshippers to come together after the service. Church offices and pastoral residences sit on adjacent vertical floors, creating easy access between them while retaining distinct identities: a place to work on the one hand and a place to live on the other. The building—which employs several innovative environmental sustainability features—expects to earn silver Hong Kong BeamPlus sustainability rating. With a solid core wall facing east, the design opts for casement windows instead of a curtain wall to minimize heat gain, particularly on the west elevation. Large windows on the north- and south-facing facades maximize daylighting and views in the sky chapel, congregation halls, and church offices. The orientation of the building creates cross-breezes in the residences, offering natural ventilation.
Standing at a hustling junction, the new Wesleyan House intends to project a sense of frugality, simplicity, and refinement, symbolizing the embrace and flow of grace while creating a refreshing spiritual oasis for the Wan Chai community.
▼立面、剖面示意图，elevation and section diagrams
Architects: Rocco Design Architects Associates Ltd
Building Name: Wesleyan House
Client: The Methodist Church, Hong Kong
Location: 271 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Design Year: 2013
Completion Year: 2018
Design Team: Rocco Yim, CM Chan, Rebecca Chung, Freddie Hai, Charles Kung, Chu Yim Kwan, Adrian Kwan, Elaine Chow, Chan Pak Chuen.
Total G.F.A.: 11,000 sq. m