St Maur’s Church dominates the village green on the Western edge of the town of Rush. The work to convert it into Rush Library combined a careful investigation and conservation of the existing structure with a particular concern for the rescue of ordinary materials, making a distinctive intervention into it to hold the new facilities.
This is formed as an undulating walnut plane, which fills the nave running across the floor, and up on both sides; the shape is barely contained, pushing tensely against the shell of the existing building. On plan, it is like a clump of seaweed: reference to marine location; in section, it forms an inverted U - with two galleries, the space between them taut and formed like a city street, deforms the route from entrance to ‘altar’, forcing it to meander, glimpses of a coloured termination lost and found again - a central chandelier a reminder of the orthogonality of the plan. Externally, the churchyard became a garden; strips of concrete inset with names of the town and library interspersed with channels planted with grasses and vegetables, the spirit of the graveyard - and the town’s agricultural basis - extended for a new generation