design, create and deliver considered, responsive & contextual architecture; buildings, places & communities for all.

This project comprises the conversion & extension of redundant ex-church building to Gym, Spa, Community Cafe and Wellness Centre

The client’s brief for the project was to provide a number of sensitive interventions and extensions to the property to ensure the retention of the historic fabric and where possible to retain the architectural detailing and features of the original church building. The vision to ensure the old and new were fundamentally different but worked together as a whole.

One of the key interventions is a vertical connection from lower ground floor to roof level by the installation of a floating steel staircase that connected not only the existing two floors but in addition, the new first and second floor above and intermediate mezzanines. This would enable users to experience the entire space whilst circulating and also able to enjoy views of the roof structure from the entrance level.

Much of the original building was in a poor state of repair and the client ensured comprehensive refurbishment of the structure and fabric so the building retained as much of its original aesthetic as possible.

With Planning Permission granted in 2017, construction commenced in August 2019, however in March 2020 with the first lockdown and the ongoing limitations of the pandemic since, progress was severely affected as well as the ability to source and secure materials, labour and funding. Despite all the restrictions around this, the build reached a successful practical completion in March 2021.

With the design intent aimed at the layering of old and new it is possible to understand the original building as well as the proposed interventions separately which help to retain the identity of the original building.
The interventions are such that the staircase and aesthetically robust steel frame were all able to be fabricated off site as was the case with the entire glass extension and much of the interior fit out. This benefitted programme as well as enhancing quality and limiting waste.

The glazed cafe is a well used and loved local amenity with many locals using it as a meeting place as well as space for working or enjoyment with friends.

2022 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards, Commercial Award, Winner