Stacked beam frame
The All Saints Church at Tamrookum was the last and most developed of R. S. Dods' six timber chapels and coincides with the peak of his ecclesiastical work. Influenced by the Art and Craft Society during his training in England and Scotland and probably by the work of MacIntosh, Dods demonstrated his considerable skill in timber construction in a series of timber houses around Brisbane, using large section timbers in strong, simple and bold designs. At Tamrookum, Dods employed similarly strong visual elements on the verandah but it is really in the inner roof structure where he is most expressive. The exposed timber members here are large, strong and repetitive. Beam is stacked above beam and crossed by heavy purlins and struts, all simply detailed to give the inside of the chapel a grandeur and weight such a small building would otherwise lack.
The church was built as a memorial chapel to the late Robert M. Collins, a member of a substantial pastoral family in south east Queensland. Dods began the design in 1913 and construction commenced in August, 1914. The church was dedicated in August 1915.
The timber for the building was largely unseasoned and milled especially for the project from trees felled on the property. The roof framing timbers were finished by hand. Given the movement of Australian hardwoods as they season, the small shrinkage that has occurred in the structural joints and the general condition of the church testifies to the quality of the design and the skill used in its construction.
The original shingle roof was replaced by concrete tiles in 1964 and the exterior weatherboards, originally oiled have subsequently been painted.
R. S. Dods
The Trustees of R. M. Collins
Mr. W. Bywater
This small church has a central nave flanked by a side vestry, stores and water tanks in a cruciform plan. Six frames of stacked beams supported on solid timber columns form the main structure of the nave.
The bottom beams of the frames taper towards the columns and support props for the middle beams. These in turn support the top beams. Inclined primary rafters tie and brace the beam frames transversely with triangulated panels formed above the verandahs and between the bottom and middle line of beams. These rafters also support heavy roof purlins. Secondary rafters run in long lengths from the verandah eaves past the top purlin to form a ridge. The main structural joints of the frames are mortices and tenons tied with steel rods. Stud wall frames brace between the main columns and form the external walls to the building.
The interior walls of the church and the coffered ceiling are lined entirely in Australian cedar and the exterior is clad with hardwood weatherboards. The majority of the structural framing is blue gum while silky oak, black bean and Australian cedar were used in the joinery and fittings.
Lund, Neville H. 1958, 'Robin S Dods-The Life and Work of a Distinguished Queensland Architect', Architecture in Australia, January-March, p. 77-85
Riddel, R. 1982, All Saints Tamrookum-An Historical Assessment and Physical Survey, unpublished report.
1. Stacked beam frame
2. Stud wall frame
3. Purlin, 235 x 215 mm
4. Tapering bottom beam, 440-300 x 220 mm
5. Prop, 218 x 200 mm
6. Tapering middle beam, 296-240 x 220 mm
7. Primary rafter, 280 x 200 mm
8. Brace, 172 x 172 mm
9. Top beam, 230 x 220 mm
10. Prop, 172 x 172 mm
11. Longitudinal strut, 220 x 200 mm
12. Column, 205 x 205 mm
13. Steel tie rod
14. Secondary rafter, 120 x 50 mm
15. Verandah post, 220 x 220 mm
16. Verandah beam, 220 x 220 mm
a. Exterior - Mark Hiley
b. Building under construction - Courtesy of Mrs A. Whitely
c. Nave and roof structure - Mark Hiley
d. Lower beam support and brace - Mark Hiley
e. Verandah framing - Mark Hiley