With the loss of their Church Hall, Water Lane United Reformed Church approached Atomik Architecture to review their site and see how it could be adapted to create a flexible, fully accessible community facility.
Atomik have extensively studied, not only the site and area, but the history of the nonconformist religion and the influence this had on the design of the existing Church. Ovoid in form, the white brick Church – designed by WF Poulton, who is also known for Westminster Chapel – has distinctive geometries and ornament, that distinguishes the building in amongst the surrounding modern red brick town. With these existing building datums, studies on the future users of the church and modern methods of worship, the proposed new two-storey extension sits seamlessly into its surroundings.
The facade of the scheme draws heavily on the existing church’s proportions and detailing. The stepped brick brings a depth to the facade and a delicate touch to what is usually a solid material. This allows the proportions to match those of the church, whilst concealing the changes in level behind. The choice of materials have been carefully considered to achieve an aesthetic that is sensitive and subservient to the existing church. A rose brick, picks up on tones from the red brick of the surrounding buildings as well as the white brick of the church.
This new extension allows for a variety of new flexible community spaces e.g. pilates, toddler groups, choirs and coffee mornings. The addition of a new lift and staircase improves circulation and accessibility; enabling inclusive access which promotes and supports a diverse user group.