Pa’dang Church

Pa’dang is a Penan settlement carved out of a small valley in the River Adang, about 5 hours’ drive via logging roads from Lawas. About 15 years ago, Christian missionaries started a scheme to settle the nomadic Penans. It was quite successful and in 1997, they harvested the first rice crop which may have led to a change in the mindset of these nomadic people. This is a joint community project between SIB (Sidang Injil Borneo) and Methodist Church of Sarawak to help the Penan community. The builds were from 5th-11th July and 28th August-3rd September 2015 with about 40 volunteers, only 5 of them had building experience. The site is accessible only by foot. The building was built completely by hand, and teamwork using simple details and local timber in an effort to include the local Penan people volunteers in the building process.

The church and community hall for 200 people is a simple architectural response to a magnificent site and climate. It is a church without walls visually so as to capture the majestic views of creation to enhance the experience of worshiping. The architecture also captures the cool prevailing breeze under the hot sun to provide cooling comfort for the users.

Amid the modular structure of the church – we insert an element of frivolity; a timber screen at the gable-end, in the ‘cracked ice’ motif, giving the carpenters a break from the systematic and orderly, to express their artistic side.

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