Grand Junction at St Mary Magdalene wins RICS Heritage Social Impact Award!

24 June 2020

Our recently-completed project, the Grand Junction community space at St Mary Magdalene, has won a RICS Social Impact Award! The awards recognise built environment's positive and transformational contribution to society.

Grand Junction is a new venue for the community, arts and culture based at the newly renovated St Mary Magdalene Church. It was designed to make Paddington Development Trust’s mission to "create and present an eclectic, collaborative programme of music, arts and performance for young people, families and adults” come to life.

Large openings within the new façade provide generous levels of natural ventilation and a feeling of airiness, reducing the need for mechanical ventilation © Anthony Coleman

Recognised as an outstanding example of neo-Gothic architecture and decoration, the Grade I listed Victorian church is a major local landmark and listed on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register.

In our efforts to make the church a place of community for local people again, we have renovated and extended St Mary Magdalene together with Dow Jones Architects. Works included the construction of the new-build community centre and café - the 'Grand Junction' -, conservation and redecoration of the interior, restoration and re-use of the undercroft as an accessible public space, refurbishment of the vestries and other spaces for office and ancillary use, upgrade of building services and environmental conditions, reinstatement of the former north door and porch, stabilisation and re-gilding of the Calvary as well as the installation of exterior lighting and improvement of the setting of the church.

Alcove lighting accentuates existing forms, while finned tube perimeter radiators provide conservation style heating to minimise damage to the historic fabric © Anthony Coleman

"The environmental design successfully brought together two key requirements to provide heating and ventilation to previously unused spaces, whilst being considerate to parts of the existing building with historically sensitive fabric. Furthermore, new services are in-keeping with and enhance the building's historic context, such as salvaging existing decorative ventilation grilles for reuse, and lighting is used to accentuate the architecture's unique character." - John Bone, Senior Engineer 


New uplighting magnifies the vibrancy and grandeur of the Nave’s restored painted ceiling © Anthony Coleman