St Laurence Church

RRA Architects, Reading, 2004

 

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The new timber flooring sweeps through to the platform in the north aisle, in the background above lies the new steel structural platform with glass balustrades 

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  • The new timber flooring sweeps through to the platform in the north aisle, in the background above lies the new steel structural platform with glass balustrades    
  • View from new steel structural platform looking east onto meeting room framed in structural glass walls and ahead the chapel    
  • New glass entrance doors to the west end are framed as a glass cylinder, with space above used as an office space    
  • The servery, kitchen and WC pods beneath the platform    
  • Ground floor plan of the reordered nave and aisle     
  • First floor plan of the reordered nave and aisle     
  • Original church with pews extending to the north aisle    
  • From top; Detail section of mezzanine edge; Section through mezzanine at seating area/servery    
  • From top; Cut-away section sketch of new floor and vestry/quiet room structure; Key long section through church and elevation of mezzanine; Key first floor plan    

A internal renovation of an early 12th century Parish Church in central Reading has been contemporary designed to include a cafe and flexible multi-purpose space

The church project was designed to allow the building to engage with its parish and to regain its place in society as a mission church.

The whole nave and aisle floor have been cleared, creating a multipurpose space, which can be used for church services or other formal or informal activities. Chairs replace pews and timber flooring is used making the space more flexible. The design includes a public cafe, which is located on the rear nave of the church on a new mezzanine floor overlooking the multi-purpose space below.

In the aisle, a mezzanine steel structure has been installed, in part an open platform with a glass balustrade, in part a glazed meeting room. Beneath its west end are a pod of WCs and a kitchen/servery, clad in vertical timber boarding.

New glass entrance doors to the west end are framed as a glass cylinder, with the space above currently used as an office. It is linked to the mezzanine by a bridge that threads through the existing stone columns and arches.

Data

  • Begun: Jun 2003
  • Completed: Jun 2004
  • Floor area: 450m2
  • Sector: Religious
  • Total cost: £450,000
  • Funding: Private
  • Procurement: JCT
  • Address: St. Laurence Church, Friar Street, Reading, RG1 1DA, United Kingdom

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