Saint Barnabas Mission Hall

David Cawston & Peter Jennings, London, 2013


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The glazed entrance 'slot' with delicate perforated steel stair 

David Hawley (website)     Download Original

  • The glazed entrance     
  • The storage loft was cut back and lowered to create a mezzanine level above the kitchen space    
  • Glazing to entrance    
  • The existing chimney was opened up and used to conceal the cooker extract    
  • The existing WC door was part glazed creating a view through to the kitchen space    
  • The openings in the existing wall were retained, flooding the kitchen space with an atmospheric light evoking Reilly    
  • A jig was made to ensure the perforated folded steel stair fitted perfectly into the entrance slot    
  • Mezzanine    
  • Mezzanine_2    
  • Kitchen from Mezzanine    
  • The lower hall was simply refurbished and decorated    
  • Unnecessary openings from the hall were carefully infilled    
  • The existing ancillary areas were a maze, accessible only from the main hall space    
  • A central void through the building was created by the careful removal of unnecessary walls    
  • The glazed slot now forms a dramatic entrance space open to an enlarged     
  • Site Plan    
  • Ground Floor Plans: Before & After    
  • Upper Floor Plans: Before & After    
  • Sections through Kitchen: Before & After    
  • Existing entrance door    
  • Downstairs Hall before refurbishment    
  • Kitchen before development    
  • Toilets before development    
  • The storage loft was lowered and cut back to create the mezzanine space    
  • Walls and ceiling at ground floor were gradually removed to reveal the slot cut through the building. The ends were then glazed to light the void.    
  • The steel staircase treads were welded on the reverse to conceal the joints    
  • Stair Details    

Refurbishment of 1890 church hall building comprising new kitchen, toilets and mezzanine and extensive repair and restoration of the building fabric and ground floor hall spaces

Saint Barnabas Dalston began meeting in April 2010 in a beautiful Charles Reilly designed church building in Dalston. The adjacent Mission Hall (which predates the church) was derelict and the aspiration was to bring the hall back to life for use by the church and the local community.

The external fabric of the building was repaired but the ancillary facilities were arranged in a maze of oddly-sized rooms, accessible only from one of the halls. A hidden storage loft, accessible only by trap door from above, was also found above the kitchen.

Sense was made of the space by carefully manipulating the existing fabric and layout to open a glazed 'slot' through the building, engaging the building with its neighbours and flooding light into a double height entrance space. The slot frames a delicate perforated staircase gently stepping up to a new open mezzanine level above.

The mezzanine, created by lowering the disused storage loft provides a new social space and together with the kitchen has a distinctly domestic, family feel, something the church felt strongly about.


  • Begun: Oct 2012
  • Completed: Apr 2013
  • Floor area: 146m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £78,500
  • Funding: Donations by church members, friends and family
  • Tender date: Mar 2012
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: Saint Barnabas Mission Hall, St Barnabas Church, Shacklewell Row, Dalston, London, E8 2EA, United Kingdom