Bakers completed a new build church extension providing a fantastic new community room with kitchen area and new toilet facilities to St Mary Church in Colchester, Essex. The new extension sits separately to the rest of the church with its own entrance giving the space the flexibility and the new modern facilities required.
New extension construction
The annexe extension to the south side of the church was constructed from brick, part steel, part glulam timber with stone quoins, parapets and detailing around the windows. It is on a shallow reinforced concrete ground bearing slab to protect the existing archaeology.
The feature glass panelled roof to the church side of the new extension allows sunlight to shine through the roof and into the existing church windows, ensuring the new extension does not block out any natural sunlight from the existing church.
Additional work to the nave
In addition to the church extension, Bakers of Danbury also re-ordered the nave. The remodelling of the main seating area of the church created a bright, open space, with new flooring and light-weight chairs. This allows for so much more flexibility for various forms of worship and for weddings, funerals and christenings. It will also significantly extend its use for large community events such as concerts, plays and exhibitions and for smaller, social activities such as quiz nights.
An important decision was taken to leave the Chancel (the area around the Altar) untouched. All of the pews with their beautiful carvings remain in this area.
This project won Commended at the DAC Design Awards Scheme 2022