St Mary Magdalene Church, Paddington
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.
Designed in 1877 for a congregation of about 900 people, the number of churchgoers had shrunk to a two-digit number. Together with Dow Jones Architects, we renovated and extended St Mary Magdalene to re-make the church a place of community for local people. We provided M&E, Acoustics and Lighting Design, as well as energy/environmental input into the planning application.
To realise the project and operate the building, the church formed a long-term partnership with the Paddington Development Trust (PDT), who lease areas of the building for offices and run Grand Junction, the new venue for the community, arts and culture based at the newly renovated St Mary Magdalene Church. It was designed to make PDT’s mission to "create and present an eclectic, collaborative programme of music, arts and performance for young people, families and adults” come to life.
"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
Central 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 a newly serviced 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.
All aspects of the fit-out and operation comply with the highest environmental performance standards to minimise the use of fossil fuels. Moreover, the New Heritage Wing provides outstanding environmental performance by optimising passive systems, employing low carbon strategies, and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of heating throughout the building. The Nave features a new tea point and a generous allocation of power points for adaptability. The undercroft, a previously unserviced space, has been converted into a flexible space while preserving the character of the space and meeting conservation requirements.
Grand Junction community space at St Mary Magdalene won a 2020 RICS Social Impact Award, being recognised for its positive and transformational contribution to society.