St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church
St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church, located southeast of Austin in the growing community of Manor, is a new prototype church design that is intended to potentially be portable in order to move from site to site as congregations outgrow the initial building and build larger, permanent churches for their members. Although the building is considered temporary, our landscape concept plan grounds the church and its site plan by using masses of multiple species of native grasses, trees, and a small church yard garden of Texas Heritage roses, along with other flowering species that are used to enliven what will some day be a central plaza surrounded by a new permanent church and related facilities.
Located literally along the transition between the coastal prairie and Oak Savannah plant communities, we chose to use simple flowing masses of Mexican Feather Grass, and Autumn and Big Muly Grasses set in waves of contrasting colors and textures that envelope the entry drive and pedestrian approaches to the front of the church. As one approaches the church up the entry road incline, designed "remnants" of a Mexican Plum Tree Orchard frame the roadway and form the threshold to what will become a large-tree canopied grove surrounding the church. Multi-trunk Live Oaks and Sycamores will eventually create an iconic grove and glade for outdoor services and gatherings at the central core of the future building complex.