At Winchester Road Methodist Church in Highams Park, The Tooley & Foster Partnership had the challenge of creating an extension to link buildings that were not only on different levels but were from different eras.
Our solution was to design a glazed and welcoming central hub within the existing courtyard to link the Edwardian Church and a series of halls dating from the 1950s.This had the added advantage of creating a new 85m² foyer/meeting area, which can be used for a range of activities. Ramps, ambulant steps and a platform lift were introduced, making the buildings fully accessible to everyone.
Gerald Curtis, Practice Partner for the project, said: “We used glass so that openness and transparency is retained and to make sure that the new structure is less intrusive, visually compatible and subservient to the Edwardian Church.”
Refurbishment of the existing toilets, kitchen and heating system were carried out at the same time as the extension.
Speaking at the official opening of The Hub – as it is now known, Reverend Hilary Cheng thanked the architects, contractors, fundraisers and donors for bringing the new building to life. She said: “The Hub is a great new space for the Church and we are really excited by all the new things this will enable us to do for the Church and the community.”
An testimonial from Winchester Road Church:
“The Hub is working well, it is very popular with parents who have to drop off and pick up children from their activities and we run a Friday coffee shop for parents from the Gym Tots group and the yoga group. It is also used as a meeting room by groups who have forgotten to book their usual room. “We also have a daily booking, 10.00am to 3.00pm, by a group for adults with learning difficulties.”