This project grew out of the Client’s need for additional flexible space that could accommodate both large social or community events, as well as smaller groups such as the Sunday School. The result is a new hall of +100m2, which is divisible into two, with a direct visual and physical connection to the churchyard.
The site is in a conservation area and previously contained a small garden and a parking area. The new building sits to one side of the site, leaving space for a new lawned garden in front. By sinking the new hall into the site, the architects have achieved an internal height of 4m, whilst keeping the profile of the building low to respect the scale of buildings in the immediate vicinity. Scale was further modulated by the use of a stepped elevation to the street, with a rusticated base of dry stonewalling, surmounted with smooth white limestone ashlar that steps back from the building face. The contrast between the white ashlar and the darker rusticated dry-stone also reflects the materiality of the listed St Mary’s Church.
The formal arrangement consists of the smooth white stone structure of the main building spanning over the hall to rest lightly on a substantial textured and articulated stone wall facing the street. Inserted into the simple white form are two prominent roof lights that bring daylight into both the rear half of the main hall, and the entrance foyer. The main space faces onto the lawned garden to the east and a small terraced garden with a curved rear wall to the west, allowing each half of the hall to relate to an exterior space when subdivided.
The Hall is constructed of a steel frame with stone and blockwork cavity walls. Roof construction, concrete plank flat roof to hall, timber deck roof to secondary spaces. Glazing includes a structural glass roof-light to the foyer, and areas of frameless glazing. Internally, the materials are restricted to white painted walls, with beech floors.