MultiTek Solutions procured the Audio Visual Systems Contract for the supply and installation of AV infrastructure for the 'St Joseph's Church Rebuilding and Restoration Project' in Collingwood.
In 2007, the 146-year-old heritage church was gutted by fire. The fire ravaged much of the building causing massive destruction and devastation. Sadly, all that remained of the once beautiful heritage church was a flimsy outer shell. Fortunately, the building was insured and covered for heritage replacement.
Nevertheless, the restoration journey has been a complex and challenging one. The state government rejected a proposal to demolish the centuries-old church, preferring to use the structural remains of the original building to forge a new design.
Extensive consultations were carried out between the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and Andronas Conservation Architecture to formulate a design that would not only transform the remains of St Joseph's back into an enclosed church but would also encapsulate the deep history and authenticity of its original features.
Project Director Shane Haugh, along with Project Manager Michael Grgurevic from MultiTek Solutions collaborated with Arthur Andronas of 'Andronas Conservation Architecture' to design a state-of-the-art Audio-Visual package that was suitable for this unique project. Shane explains: "We worked very closely with Arthur to ensure that all our AV equipment did not disrupt the vision of his refurbishment and did not distract from the rich aesthetics of this beautiful new building."
The church is of local and historical significance as it was the first Catholic mission church in the district. Historically it has been an iconic haven for Vietnamese refugees and the needy. Therefore, resurrecting the church to its former Gothic and Revival 'ecclesiastical' heritage was of paramount importance to this project.
MultiTek Solutions came up with some creative Audio Visual solutions to minimise the visual impact of AV equipment in the space, without compromising on sound quality or acoustic performance. Shane discusses how this was achieved: "Regarding our involvement, we provided 2 X 75" displays on Ultralift motorised panel lifts that when not in use are discreetly hidden away behind the altar. When required they can automatically pop out over the top and display content. This equipment is a very cool and sophisticated piece of kit! We also provided the main PA by way of 2x 'Community' column speakers, program relay distribution to the foyer areas, along with new audio console and Crestron video distribution and control."
MultiTek Solutions also consulted closely with Fr Peter Hoang to ensure the sound intelligibility and control suited the gabled nave of the worship space. MTS meticulously engineered the AV system to complement the St Joseph's Church environment. Whether it's the sermon, the worship music or a video presentation, the quality of sound and acoustics is always of paramount importance and a significant contributor to making church services more dynamic and engaging.
St Joseph's Church has finally returned to its former glory, albeit with a revitalised new 'inside' look. Noted mainly for its unusual castellated tower the functional and fresh new church you see today can accommodate up to 300 people. In early April, the church held its first Mass of Dedication and Eucharist since being resurrected. The rejuvenated St Joseph's Church is now set to remain a crucial place for worship, praise and celebrations for many of Melbourne's Vietnamese and broader community members.
The modern church complex will enable the St Joseph's Collingwood parish to continue its highly valued community support activities. MultiTek Solutions is pleased to have contributed to the structural engineering and delivery of leading-edge AV infrastructure for this project. To conclude, Shane says: " From an Audio Visual standpoint this was a great project both practically and architecturally."
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