Following on from the outstanding success of the award winning scheme at St John’s Wembley, calfordseaden was appointed as architects by ASRA for the new mixed use scheme on the site of St Nicholas Church in Ealing. Many schemes had been attempted by others over a 15 year period but calfordseaden was able to unlock the potential of the site by designing a scheme where the church and community facilities shared the double height ground floor of a new building, which was planned for flexibility, on the most prominent part of the site; the upper floors then provide flats for affordable rent.
The compact church doubles as a community building including five meeting spaces which can be combined or separated in a variety of arrangements. The design also includes a sweeping curved roof at street level to signify the main entrance, as well as an extension of the stair tower to act as a landmark steeple, complete with a large glazed and illuminated cross.
The site provides a mix of affordable and private housing comprising of 10 flats and eight houses, two of which are for wheelchair users, a Code Level six vicarage and community facilities with the addition of a new church and communal garden. The scheme also includes two short terraces of houses, which are simple and modern in design however relate to existing surroundings.
The two-storey church has been awarded a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating with the vicarage achieving Code Level six as required by the London Diocese. The remaining residential units achieved Code Level four.
We were actively involved with local residents and the church congregation which enabled us to identify some very innovative designs which could be incorporated into the St Nicholas Church site. These included a landmark church spire, a baptism pool and a large water feature filled with holy water in the foyer entrance.
The scheme has recently been shortlisted for the 2016 Constructing Excellence Awards in London and the South East within the ‘Innovation Category’.