durban christian centre

Arising from the ashes of a devastating fire, this new church precinct was commissioned to replace an earlier church which had burnt down. It is designed to accommodate a congregation of 3500; its auditorium, chapel and teaching spaces amalgamating to form a single church complex. The client originally wanted the new DCC to have a domed roof as it had become synonymous with the Jesus Dome. Unfortunately the domed roof did not provide the acoustic properties required and therefore a brief was established taking cognisance of both the required acoustic properties and landmark dome of DCC. Therefore, an acoustically appropriate auditorium was designed that accommodated the need for a vast open space for the congregation’s seating without any vertical structure blocking the view of the stage. The auditorium roof houses the multitude of services required in a specialised building like this, and therefore an external structure was required to hold up the roof. This gave us an opportunity to incorporate the concept of the rounded dome in the elegant, curved arches that now hold up that roof.


The privilege when designing a building that represents a multitude of symbolic and meaningful relationships between people and their faith, is the ability to incorporate some of these aspects into the design of the building. Externally, DCC is enrobed with a delicate veil which reflects a soft raindrop pattern on the lobby and entrance floor. This veil symbolises the importance of water and it’s connotation to rebirth and revitalisation within the Christian faith whilst reinforcing the symbolism of the bride which is found in the New Testament.The use of the simple cross in the concrete curved chapel wall on the eastern elevations allows the congregation to celebrate the symbolic and meditative quality each new morning brings. And the incorporation of the baptismal font below the cross, highlights the symbolism of rebirth and starting anew.

There is a distinct separation and celebration between the vibrant, enlivened auditorium and lobby meeting space and the intimacy of the chapel. DCC is a juxtaposition between an incredibly vibrant community and the meaningfulness found within the intimacy of personal faith. Both internally and externally, finishes, materials and services are raw and stripped down to their true state creating an honest, transparent feel to the building. These concepts are also found frequently with the faith teachings at DCC and therefore echo the sentiments of the community.

Steel allowed the professional team to explore not only the functionality of steel but also the unique design opportunities steel affords you. It was paramount in creating the vast roof and auditorium space along with the elegant, landmark arches which not only functionally hold up the roof, but celebrate the history of the Jesus Dome. Its was a privilege to work with a client and professional team that facilitated in the realisation of this landmark building and an honour to have been recognised by the steel industry for the ingenuity and innovation for the use of steel in this unique project.

DCC won the following categories in the SAISC Steel Awards 2019: