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Presidents' Award Shortlisted Nominees 2016

This year, two shortlists have been announced for the 2016 Presidents' Award for new church architecture, run by the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust.
The shortlist of five entries for reordering, extensions or alterations to existing church buildings can be viewed below.
The shortlist of three entries for new buildings can be viewed here.
A Presidents' Award will be awarded to the winning scheme in each of the two categories.
The Architects and the schemes judged to be the winners in each of the two categories will be announced by HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO at an Awards Ceremony at St Mellitus College, London SW5 on Thursday 3 November 2015. Also at the Awards Ceremony, Prince Nicholas von Preussen will announce the 2061 2016 winner of the King of Prussia Gold Medal for church repair and conservation architecture.
The Presidents’ Award is awarded on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association President and the National Churches Trust’s Joint Presidents, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. Projects are eligible if they have been completed within the last three years or after the Practical Completion stage in their development. New church buildings and new designs in church re-ordering, alterations or extensions are eligible for The Presidents’ Award. The award is open to church buildings of all Christian denominations in the UK.
The award comprises a chalice and paten, commissioned by the Incorporated Church Building Society, and made after World War II, to be loaned to a new or seriously war damaged church. This year, the chalice and paten will be lent to the two winning parishes to be held by them for six months each. The two winning churches or chapels will each receive a £500 prize.
Judges were looking for:
• Innovation, invention and originality
• Fitness for use as a church, or part of a church building, in the 21st century
• Does the work have the potential to bring new life to the church?
• Architectural Quality
• Sensitivity to Context
• Elegance of Construction & Detail Judges were also asked to consider to what extent the design is environmentally-responsible.
The following entries have been shortlisted:
• Wymondham, St Mary & St Thomas of Canterbury
• Weston-on-the-Green, St Mary the Virgin
• Wandsworth, Holy Trinity Church
• Spitalfields, Christ Church
• Jesmond URC

Wymondham, St Mary & St Thomas of Canterbury, Wymondham Abbey

Freeland Rees Roberts Architects

Young Architect: Tania Gomez-Duran


Extensions to each aisle, with flexible spaces, toilets, servery. The church is part of the fabric of Wymondham, and helps all living in the parish, not just the congregation. The Abbey Experience project aims: to open up the Abbey and environs to a broader audience, to inspire participation and engagement; to conserve and interpret the Abbey’s heritage and explain its continuing influence on the community; to provide a dynamic learning experience for all ages and abilities. The existing church has been greatly improved by removing ‘clutter’, including the ‘temporary’ vestries in the South aisle and relocating the shop to allow reopening of the West doors. The new extensions provide much needed facilities: new flexible spaces, sacristy, choir vestry, servery, lavatories and storage to cater for a wide range of activities, interpretation and learning. Traditional materials have been used in a contemporary way to be sensitive to the context and to achieve elegance in construction and detailing. The extensions abut the South aisle, East tower and North aisle. The extensions have been designed to have minimal impact on the existing fabric, but of sufficient scale against the large imposing Abbey and allow an accessible circular route around the church with new ramps in the aisles. The extension walls are Clipsham stone, glazing and oak louvres. The SE extension employs soaring, tapered cruciform shaped steel columns, which keeps the structure away from the South chancel wall, and new rooflights wash the extension in light and allow an uninterrupted view of the existing archaeological wall and tower beyond. The roof has been clad with terne coated steel -looking much like lead used on the other roofs but without the attraction for metal thieves. The NE extension is within the ruins of the former St Margaret’s Chapel and has a green sedum roof. The impact on the above and below-ground archaeology was reduced, with design of the foundations to minimise disturbance of the demolished C12th S aisle foundations, the impact on the blocked nave South arcade and South wall of the East tower have been minimised; existing blocked doorways were reopened, so that only one new opening was formed. While unblocking the East arch, a large quantity of worked stone was discovered from the demolished monastery and revealed a substantial incised gable and window tracery architectural design; and medieval graffiti. A minimal glazed screen was used to avoid the design and maximise the impact. Worked stones from the unblocking have been displayed



Weston-on-the-Green, St Mary the Virgin

Conservation Architects LLP - Project Architect: Christian Randall

Young Architect: Christian Randall


Adding a kitchen, Vestry, DDA WC and storage within a space of 4x4x4m concealed behind an oak screen. The project involved the redecoration of the interior



Wandsworth, Holy Trinity

HMDW Architects Ltd. - Project Architect: Julian Vallis

Young Architect: Julian Vallis


Complete re-ordering of interior, including removal of pews and levelling floor. Extension with new foyer and glassed entrance.



Spitalfields, Christ Church

Dow Jones Architects - Project Architect: Martin Goodfellow

Young Architect: Martin Goodfellow


Refurbishment of crypt with kitchen, event rooms, café, toilets. Christ Church Spitalfields is a Grade I listed building by Nicholas Hawksmoor, and widely regarded as his masterpiece. Our project refurbishes the crypt to provide new parish and public facilities, including a parish room, a gallery space and a hall for performances, a cafe and a kitchen to cater for venue-hire events in the nave, and new WCs and back of house facilities. The crypt is a dramatic brick vaulted space supported on 26 Portland stone piers. We removed all of the non-Hawksmoor structures that had been added over the years to re-establish the architectural clarity of the space. New rooms are created amongst the columns with oak boarded walls. The design and placement of the oak walls makes a clear distinction between the old and new and creates open views along the length and width of the space. As a buried space, the crypt has no public face and its connections to the city are restricted. Our project brings a single ramped entrance down into the crypt, taking the York stone of the city ground down into the crypt. We were interested in making a space that has a character that is complementary to but distinct from the nave. Our design strategy is inspired by Hawksmoor’s use of materials in the church up-stairs, particularly the oak panelling, but detailed in a contemporary way. Our proposal has a rich material character and integrity which sits alongside the three hundred year old structure; metalwork is all bronze, floors throughout are York stone, and timber is oak. Our intervention has a simple strategy that uses the new oak walls to contain the ducts and distribute services around the space. The detailing of the oak boarded walls accommodates air supply, acoustic attenuation, lighting, AV and other technical requirements of the space so that the original vaults are left free form the clutter that contemporary buildings accrue. A central part of this project was working with the catering consultants and the end user for the design of the kitchen and cafe area. A catering kitchen, designed for a 300 cover sit-down meal and receptions for 500 people is also located in the crypt. This project had complex stakeholder and client structures as it has many user groups. We worked closely with Historic England, the Diocesan Advisory Committee, the Georgian Group and the Church Buildings Council, as well as the Friends of Christ Church Spitalfields and community groups.



Jesmond, Jesmond United Reformed Church

Pascal J Stienlet and Son – Project Architect: Vincente Stienlet


This formerly dark pew-filled listed Victorian church has been transformed into an accessible, light and welcoming worship and community space. A new step-free entrance leads into a foyer created by roofing-over the old passage between the church and the hall. Structural glazing with angled high level lights enhances the fine stained glass and floods the area with light. There is a refreshment counter made from old pew wood. From here the church is accessed by a new doorway cut through the transept wall. Removal of the pews, extraneous piping and wiring, and overhead gas heaters, has left a light, uncluttered and open interior. The new colour scheme complements that of the restored organ pipes and the pink granite pillars. The original building and heritage features have been revealed, allowing clear views of the stained glass windows and bronze war memorial by Walter Gilbert. There is new energy-efficient heating and lighting, additional storage space and accessible toilets. The 1960s shades were replaced on the light fittings by ones as close to the original design as possible. The former stepped entrance has been closed off by 19 mm thick architectural glazing to create a small meeting room in the narthex. Modified church logos and crosses provide the safety marking on the glazing. Views are possible both into and out of the building, helping to integrate the church with the community. William Morris-style wallpaper links with the stained glass in the church by his company. Comfortable chairs can now be arranged flexibly in the church, which encourages new ways of worship and facilitates community events. Events which have taken place include concerts, meetings, rehearsals, exhibitions and heritage activities such as the recent centennial commemoration of the battle of the Somme. These have brought extra life to the church, helped to bring the community together and displayed our valuable cultural heritage. The area around the church has been landscaped, and a community wildlife garden has been created in the walled former manse garden. This tranquil space with seating enhances biodiversity and provides opportunities for quiet reflection. It is open at all times and has hosted worship and community events.




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