Aura secured this project in summer of 2014 and commenced on site in September 2014. The Church which is Grade B Listed was designed by John Henderson and is Early English style.
The project was part of an innovative design led by Brian Foxley Architects providing a series of spaces that combine worship and community aspects of St Mary’s effectively. The layout and functionality of St Mary’s has vastly improved, offering the congregation and community a versatile modern space. The work Aura have completed has transformed St Mary’s into a hub for local groups and societies.
The Church building has in the main, remained as it was. A new Clergy Vestry has been created at the rear of the Church encompassing stained glass windows. His Majesty the Sultan of Oman gifted £25,000 to the Church for the flags that were used in battle, to be restored and displayed. An entrance into the new Gathering Space from the Church has been formed through the masonry wall.
The Gathering Space was an unused open garden space. This has been transformed into a large welcoming Gathering Space which includes a new stone archway entrance, reception, utility room, storage room and Choir Vestry. Excavation works were carried out to enable a new structural steel frame to be installed. Stainless steel gutters with a heat trace system, slate roofing and bespoke roof lights were installed. The gable brickwork incorporated stained glass windows. Underfloor heating has been introduced finished in oak flooring. The existing external masonry elevation to the Church received sympathetic repairs as it now became an internal part of the Gathering Space.
A new café and seating area, kitchen, foyer, toilets, shower room and disabled facilities have been formed finishing the internal ground floor alterations. New structural steelwork for a new steel staircase and landing has been installed. Disabled access is also available via the new Stannah lift. Various new floor finishes such as oak, carpet and vinyl have been used.
The kitchen has been built using existing masonry removed from the original building when making alteration for the Gathering Space and has a new stainless steel roof adjoining the original hall.
The Hall is now accessible from many areas, including the kitchen, café and seating area and also from outside the building. The hall has been rejuvenated through new plastering, decoration and floor repairs. Sandstone paving has been provided in a small usable garden area outside the hall and kitchen.
Existing alterations were also adapted to form new first floor rooms. A large meeting room and 3 smaller meeting rooms were formed along with toilet facilities. The large meeting room has been finished in a stainless steel roof.
All newly formed rooms and areas have been plastered and decorated.
Groundworks outside of the Church have been carried out to improve parking areas, garden spaces and drainage.
New boilers, heating and ventilation system and new lighting throughout have all been an important part of this transformation of St Mary’s. The Mechanical and Electrical work has been carried out under Contractor Design working closely with the Architect and Client.
Ensuring a safe and clean site throughout was an important part of this project allowing the Church to remain in use and not to disturb the local buildings and community.