At the heart of WSP’s design for the Chinese Methodist Church is a modern place of worship that fits into its prominent location. With chapel space and seating for 250 people, the structure also includes a hall, administration offices, classrooms, and catering facilities. Its design not only emphasises the decoration of the chapel and entry, but it is also faithful to the structure of the building, which was achieved by the exposed laminated timber rafters as well as the appearance of the k-brace and frames. These elements have been interwoven into the fabric of the building to provide a scale, volume, and decoration that is fit for a place of worship.
There are often differing opinions about the value of the memories embodied in heritage buildings versus the benefits inherent with those made with modern materials and have a contemporary design. The earthquakes damaged some of Canterbury's best historic churches and saw the construction of many new ones, including St Patrick's Church in Lincoln.
St Patrick’s Church replaced an old church that sustained irreparable damage in the earthquakes. Working with an undamaged existing Parish Centre on the same site, which the Parish wished to retain, an important part of WSP's design was the integration of existing joinery, such as the pews and altar from the old church, which were reused and refurbished in keeping with the new church. The new church's traditional cruciform plan is a reminder of the building it replaced and the materials that were selected not only provide resilience to the structure but also draw on the enduring beauty of its natural finishes.