This new, distinctive and sustainable community hall provides much needed enhanced accommodation for the church community of St John the Evangelist in North Holmwood, Surrey.
This ten-year project has provided a replacement community hall with two separate linkable halls, kitchen and reception areas. The hall is positioned close to the footprint of the previous hall, minimising its impact on the openness of the surrounding area and providing convenient access to the church and existing access and parking arrangements.
The building’s form is appropriate to its unique location and does not compromise the special interest of the adjoining listed church. Its contemporary form is a response to the topography of the site and also the need to create a building section that allows for natural ventilation in warm weather. Care was taken to develop a form that would not materially exceed the height of the smaller previous hall. This has been achieved by breaking the building down into a series of smaller clay tiled pitched roof structures, grouped in such a way as to reduce the apparent scale of the structure and to produce an interesting profile for the building.
The sensitive west facing elevation, which looks out across National Trust land is faced in randomly placed flint, blending the building comfortably into its context. The remainder of the building is finished with a simple palette of brick and glass, sympathetic in response to this sensitive site.
The highly sustainable structure has a low carbon footprint and boasts air source heat pumps, photovoltaic panels and underfloor heating.