20.01.2016

St. Nicholas Church in Perivale is the future of mixed use homes and churches

St. Nicholas Church in Perivale is the future of mixed use homes and churches

Following on from John Spence’s blog looking at why there needs to be a more innovative approach to the use of church sites across the country in order to make them sustainable comes a dedication service for a new build church which does exactly that.

St. Nicholas Church in Perivale, Ealing is a site unlike many others. The site is owned by the Church of England (the Church) and was previously home to a large, inflexible church with a church hall and vicarage dating back to the 1960s.

For 15 years the Church had been looking at various ways to utilise the space to make it more useable for the community; the congregation had dwindled in size and the space had become too big for those using it. Proposals to divide the space into separate sections were rejected as the concrete was failing and left the building unsafe to renovate.

To ensure St. Nicholas would not have to close a partnership between the Church, Ealing Council and ASRA Housing Group was formed with the aim of delivering a new building for the church with a hall, vicarage and affordable housing on the site of the original church building.

calfordseaden was engaged to provide architectural services for the scheme. The designs provided a church which is very open and fully glazed to ensure the space is light and energy efficient. The new building includes two floors above the church which accommodates ten flats for affordable tenures. Adjacent on the site are 7 Code level 4 houses and a replacement vicarage designed to be code level 6. The church has been awarded BREEAM Excellent environment assessment rating.

The church is active in the local community so calfordseaden and ASRA ensured both local residents and the church congregation were involved during the design process. Following on from this consultation certain aspects of the design were changed, including a water feature in the church’s foyer filled with holy water.

St. Nicholas Church in Perivale is a prime example of how flexible design and use of space can prevent church closure and cement its role as a relevant and vital part of the community.