A two-storey temple to hold 400 worshippers, topped with decorative gold domes, has been proposed for Weston to serve the ACT’s growing Sikh community.
A development application has been lodged by the Canberra Sikh Association for the site of the community’s current temple, a smaller structure on Hickey Court next to the Orana Steiner School and the Baha’i Centre.
The new temple will incorporate the current one and require a lease variation to allow for an almost doubling of the allowable floor space from 1500 square metres to 2914 square metres.
The upper level will house a prayer hall, with the lower level containing a kitchen, dining hall and library or study, with an intermediary entry area with toilets and shoe rooms. There will be a new driveway crossing, car parking and landscaping.
The DA, prepared by Hugh Gordon Architects, says the large 11,234 square metre block is zoned for community use and the $427,000 proposal will meet the spiritual and community needs of the growing Sikh population in the ACT.
“This significantly larger, and accessible, Temple, is critical to fostering social inclusion in Canberra,” the DA says.
The pre-cast concrete structure is designed according to the principles of Sikh architecture, with the gold-painted domes an important design element.
Although a two storey building, the domes mean the overall structure will be three-storeys high but no taller.
The temple complex will be completed in two stages – first the mid floor and lower floor, with a gravel car park; followed by the upper floor, domes, and a sealed car parking area.
Initial consultation with the community prompted some revisions to the plans, but subsequent feedback from the school, Baha’i Centre and neighbouring residents has been positive and no objections have been lodged.
The DA says the proposed temple is set back six metres from the boundary and 26 metres from the nearest residential blocks.
The temple will use opaque glass on those windows facing the boundary to protect the privacy of closest houses, and it will not overshadow them, it says.
A Traffic and Parking Report prepared by Graeme Shoobridge Advisory Services says car parking will be sufficient for a congregation exceeding 550 worshippers and the predicted traffic generation is not expected to exceed the spare capacity of the existing road.