Presidents' Award Shortlisted Nominees 2017

This year, two shortlists have again been announced for the 2017 Presidents' Award for new church architecture, run by the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust.
The shortlist of four entries for the New Church Buildings Category can be viewed below.
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 at an Awards Ceremony at St Mellitus College, London SW5 on Thursday 26th October 2017. Also at the Awards Ceremony, Prince Nicholas von Preussen will announce the 2017 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:
• The Belarusian Memorial Chapel, Woodside Park, London - Spheron Architects
• Crossway URC Church, Elephant and Castle, London - Van Heyningen & Haward Architects
• Donhead School Chapel, Wimbledon, London - Phillips Tracey Architects
• St John the Baptist, Burford, Oxfordshire (new church hall) - Acanthus Clews

The Belarusian Memorial Chapel, Woodside Park, London

Spheron Architects


The Belarusian Memorial Chapel is the first wooden church built in London since the Great Fire of 1666. Designed by Spheron Architects, the chapel in Woodside Park has been built for the Belarusian diaspora community in the UK, and is dedicated to the memory of victims of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Extensive research into the Belarus’s wooden church tradition was made by project architect Tszwai So, spending time in Belarus, recording and sketching traditional churches in the villages populating the rural areas to gain insight and inspiration for the design. The domed spire and timber shingle roof are common features of traditional churches in Belarus and offer familiarity, comfort and memories to London's Belarusian community, many of whom moved to the UK following the Chernobyl disaster.



Crossway URC Church, Elephant and Castle, London

Van Heyningen & Haward Architects


The project for Crossway Church was triggered by the redevelopment of the Heygate Estate. Southwark Council decided it was also necessary to demolish the existing church and so the Council and the United Reformed Church agreed to replace the building on a small plot just to the south of Strata, a 43 storey residential high rise, and sandwiched between a large housing block and a railway viaduct, with access only possible from the southern end.

Van Heyningen & Haward Architects have designed the building elevations to combine textured brick and copper detailing to provide a strong but accessible character, making it stand out as a Christian community centre within its local context. The entrance façade incorporates a large cross within its design, and crosses formed in the textured brickwork are visible from the Elephant and Castle roundabout and from the railway.



Donhead School Chapel, Wimbledon, London

Phillips Tracey Architects


Phillips Tracey Architects have updated and extended Donhead Preparatory School in Wimbledon to incorporate four new classrooms, an auditorium, a double height art room and a 50 seat chapel.

The Chapel is the centrepiece of the new work. The main South façade is enriched by the new extension and hints at the schools Jesuit identity, with the gabled façade of the new Chapel continuing the informal gabled elevation of the existing school.

Inside the chapel, a roof lantern sits above the altar, within the exposed timber roof cassettes, which express the buildings construction. A stained glass window forms a focal point to the room and sensitively juxtaposes old with new. Externally, the lantern continues the rhythm of chimneys seen on the original building.



St John the Baptist, Burford, Oxfordshire (new church hall)

Acanthus Clews


St John the Baptist Church in Burford undertook a bold redevelopment project at Warwick Hall to unite the church and local community through the building of a new church community facility. The brief for the architects Acanthus Clews was to extend and adapt the listed but dilapidated church hall to provide a new flexible space capable of hosting a varied programme of community activities including a day centre for the elderly, as well being an alternative space for worship and prayer.

A key objective was to deliver a place within the town for the church and the community to come together which is epitomised by the new community café in the heart of the new building. The challenge was to deliver a new confident church community facility within one of the most historically sensitive and restricted church settings nationally.

Almost half of the buildings energy demand is met through renewable sources from a ground source heat pump heating and cooling system that crucially reduces operating costs for future generations

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