The practice was commissioned to design a new Church Hall for St Charles RC Church following the successful completion of their primary school which replaced the redundant building on the site.

 

The new building was to be flexible and multifunctional, capable of holding games, nursery, weddings and meetings etc but fully integrated with the main body of the church.  It was to have its own entrance yet be accessible from the church or be self contained when the church was not in use.  The church was to remain open at all times during the construction period.

It was decided to base the development on the historical precedent of the cloister.  This would enable the hall to be separate yet joined whilst creating a contemplative space and an external space for other events.  This also gave the advantage of not having to carry out any alterations to the church.  The main connection occurred at the 1960’s extension which formed the main entrance to the church.

 

The entrance to the hall was articulated by a drum which resolved circulation and access points to both church and hall and also contained central toilets and store etc.  The hall remained subservient to the main church and a combination of split faced block, traditional ‘harling’ and green slate sensitively maintained harmony with the church together with rigorous detailing.

 

The hall is naturally ventilated through ‘stack effect’ chimneys and high level rooflight together with underfloor heating powered from a dedicated plant.

Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

St, Charles Church Hall.

© Acanthus WSM Architects Ltd.