King Of Prussia Gold Medal - Shortlisted Nominees 2017

Five projects have been shortlisted for the 2017 King of Prussia Gold Medal church architecture award for repair and conservation work, run by the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust.
The winner will be announced by Prince Nicholas von Preussen at a special awards ceremony to be held at St Mellitus college, London SW5 on Thursday 26th October 2017.
The winning architect will receive the King of Prussia Gold Medal, the gift of King Frederick William IV of Prussia (1795 – 1861) to the Incorporated Church Building Society in 1857.
In selecting the winning entry, judges will be looking for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work that has successfully overcome a major aesthetic or technical challenge. This year's shortlisted entries are as follows:
• All Saints, Nunney, Somerset - Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects
• St Cuthbert, Kentmere, Cumbria - John Coward Architects
• St Mark, Leeds, Yorkshire - Richard Crooks Partnership
• St Pancras, London - Arts Lettres Techniques and Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects
• St Peter and St Paul, Blandford Forum, Dorset - Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects

All Saints, Nunney, Somerset

Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects


The nave roof of All Saints church has been subject to much alterations over the centuries but by the end of the C19 the medieval roof was known to be in very poor condition. Eventually as a consequence of severe decay, a decision was made in 1958 to install a replacement roof. The new roof was a steel framed agricultural truss covered in bitumous felt and was installed as a temporary measure. In 1967 the unsightly steel frame was hidden behind a suspended ceiling, whilst in 1973 the failing bitumous felt was removed and replaced with concrete slates.


Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects and Mann Williams Structural Engineers developed proposals for how to reinstate the waggon roof's shape. The barrel vault was constructed from a series of ceiling ribs built up of three layers of plywood to form continuous ribs along the length of the nave. The four new dormers bring light into the nave and reinstate the two lost dormers on the north side and the two lost clerestory windows on the south side.



St Cuthbert, Kentmere, Cumbria

John Coward Architects


A condition report in 2014 by John Coward Architects suggested the roof coverings of the grade II listed building be entirely replaced and significant repairs to the medieval timber roof structure be carried out. There were several roof leaks through the coverings that risked loss of fabric due to wet rot decay. Two of the main trusses had fractured at their apex connections and several of the oak purlins had lost their bearing ends due both to movement of the frame and decay within the masonry walls.


All existing roof slates were stripped off, sorted and stacked on the scaffold for re-use. Stone ridge tiles had unfortunately delaminated and could not be salvaged so new ones were detailed to match and then hand carved by the contractor. Roof timbers were carefully removed as necessary and the minimal impact repair interventions executed. All new structural timber was in oak to match and the rafter sprockets, to create the swept eaves, were cut from Douglas Fir, again to match the extant work.



St Mark, Leeds, Yorkshire

Richard Crooks Partnership


St Mark's Church is the last to survive of the three Church Commissioner’s churches built in Leeds. After many years with dwindling numbers of loyal but aging regular worshippers, it was declared redundant in 2001. The church had been on both the English Heritage and Leeds City Council’s Buildings at Risk Registers since early 1990s.


By 2005 the timber ribbed vaulted ceiling in the south aisle was collapsing. Cold damp conditions had also caused the breakdown of the original Victorian glue based wall and ceiling paintings and deposited brown sticky liquid onto walls, floors, fittings and furnishings. In 2005 Gateway Church identified St Mark's as being suitable for their place of worship, meetings and hub for outreach into the local community.


November 2011 to January 2012 saw the reslating of tower roof & new lead gutter linings; strengthening of tower parapets; removal of stained glass windows to north aisle for repair and removal of wall plaster to west end.

Between January 2013 and September 2013 internal alterations were undertaken including new floor construction incorporating underfloor heating to the worship space and the installation of a mezzanine floor. October 2013 to January 2014 saw replastering and redecoration of the remaining areas of the auditorium/worship space.


Regular worship and administration opened in St.Mark's in March 2014. All facilities being available for use by community groups for meetings, concerts, conferences and other events.

August 2015 to January 2016 saw completion of the outstanding masonry repairs to the north aisle and stained glass restoration.



St Pancras, London

Arts Lettres Techniques and Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects


‘The Portico Project’ became a necessity through the effects of time on the material of the ‘new church’ of St Pancras. Every original element was retained and protected. Only one new piece of terracotta was needed, made and fired by skilled craftspeople at Darwen Terracotta in Lancashire, replacing a missing corner.


A sequence of carefully executed cleaning procedures was developed with Sally Strachey Conservation on a terracotta element that had fallen from its location (due to complete cramp corrosion and washed out lime bedding).


Careful repair sustains the integrity of the building. In developing a successful relationship between Arts Lettres Techniques, B2 Architects and St Pancras Church, there is the opportunity to realize the ambition for ongoing, careful repair, but also to explore how the building and its curtilage can best serve a highly diverse local community in a respectful and inclusive way.



St Peter and St Paul, Blandford Forum, Dorset

Benjamin + Beauchamp Architects


The main aim of this project was to undertake urgent repair and conservation work to the cupola and upper levels of the tower. The condition of the cupola had been deteriorating for some time and repair work was urgently needed to avoid the catastrophic collapse of the cupola.


The works focussed on the repair of the bell chamber roof structure, the eight sided lower drum and the open sided cupola. So extensive was some of the decay that new timbers were required but wherever possible the eighteenth century as well as later timber repairs were retained. This was achieved with a combination of different timber repair techniques including scarf joints, face repair and the use of steelwork to minimise the loss of material.


To the cupola drum all eight posts were replaced using new laminated oak posts to maximise the life expectancy as the last replacement posts undertaken in an African hardwood only lasted 50 years. To the cupola roof, the central octagonal post was replaced full height as a result of extensive death watch beetle attack. The cupola’s plastered vaulted ceiling was reinstated and the apprentice bell, which survived the fire, rehung at its centre. The cupola roof was repaired and re-leaded with the weathervane conserved, repaired and re-gilded before being reinstated at the top of the structure having been temporary removed some years previously on safety grounds.

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