By Jennifer Johnson
Perth, Australia, is one of the most isolated major urban centers in the world, more than a thousand miles from another large city and closer to Indonesia than to Sydney. Tens of thousands of aboriginal Australians still live in the region, and their myths and legends continue to influence the area’s cultural values. More than a religion, this indigenous worldview of “the dreamtime” shapes their perspective on the creation of the world and how to live in it.
True North Church includes these parts of their story in every aspect of their two campuses, which include a licensed childcare center, an event center, and the Compass Kids Discovery Zone. “The Loft” offers creative and affordable coworking space for groups and individuals, and “115 Collective” features specialty coffee and community events. The details of every design reinforce True North’s story: a tribe of generous and courageous believers at the edge of the Indian Ocean who gather to wake from “the dreaming” and share real stories that lead to life and hope.
Another unique aspect of this project is its funding: in this part of western Australia, money from the public lottery is granted to community and education projects. True North successfully applied for a grant and used the funds to pay for much of the design and building of its campuses. With space for the city and the congregation, this band of believers is creating community and pointing people to the best story of all.