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St Silas

Extension & Internal Alterations to St. Silas Episcopal Church

Constructed in 1864, St. Silas Episcopal Church is Grade B Listed and was designed by well known Glasgow Architect, John Honeyman. In 1898, a small hall designed by Miles Gibson was added to the rear of the church.

Over 10 years ago, the members of St. Silas Episcopal Church recognised the need to address the lack of suitable space within their building to cater for children’s work, staff offices and community activities.

McLean Architects were appointed in 2000 to investigate options for extension and alteration to the existing building to meet the needs of a forward thinking congregation within the 21st Century. The Client was keen to demolish the existing small hall due to its impracticality for modern use and the fact that it was cold and damp.

The Client brief requested a level of accommodation to meet a variety of activities including a replacement hall, classrooms, meeting rooms, offices, foyer/cafe and catering kitchen. Importantly, the Client was keen for the new building to be regarded as a ‘beacon’ within the community to reflect the Church’s outward approach.

McLean Architects developed design proposals for consultation with the Planning Department and Historic Scotland. Due to the listed status of the church, Historic Scotland was initially concerned at the proposed demolition of the existing hall. With the support of an appointed Planning Consultant an argument was put forward by the Client that the hall had a lesser historic architectural importance compared to the church and that it was better to sacrifice this to allow the church to continue in its intended use as a place of worship.

Following a lengthy consultation period with the Planning Department and Historic Scotland, McLean Architect’s contemporary design proposal was granted Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent in 2006.

The design proposal sought to strengthen the physical and aesthetic link between the main church building and the new accommodation by creating a double height glazed entrance foyer at this junction, visible from the existing entrance on Park Road. This has become the ‘everyday entrance’ for those using the church facilities and has allowed access for disabled persons via a ramped approach from street level, previously unavailable at the formal front entrance to the church. The new foyer space also incorporates a decorative coloured glass rose window and stone surround retained and rebuilt from the front wall of the original hall.

The variety of accommodation within the extension is expressed externally by the design of two low mono pitch roofs, separated by a link element, to break down the mass of a single roof over the whole building. The roof rises in height towards the street frontage and cantilevers dramatically beyond the building line to embrace the street.

It was important for the Church’s role within the local community that the varying activities occurring within the new building are presented in a visually attractive manner as a reminder that the Church is very active, particularly in terms of youth work. For this reason the new hall is placed directly towards the street frontage with large areas of glazing to allow glimpses of the activities happening within. The less public activities of classrooms, office accommodation and circulation core are situated to the rear of the hall accommodation.

High quality materials have been used on the new extension comprising natural sandstone, crisp white render and stainless steel cladding. Traditional roof finishes of natural slate are used over a single storey link contrasting with a modern stainless steel standing seam roof over the two storey elements.

The Client embarked on a very active fund raising campaign for the project entitled ‘Building for the Future’ to emphasise that this new development was being planned to enable the church to continue to serve for years to come. Their successful fundraising resulted in the requirement for the Client only having to borrow a small part of the overall estimated construction cost of £1.3 million although the resultant final construction cost was less at just under £1.1m.

The Main Contractor, Fleming Buildings, was appointed in September 2009 following a traditional tender procurement route. The original construction period of 52 weeks was prolonged by 5 months due to a period of exceptionally inclement weather and delays incurred with the stonework Sub Contractor.

The building was successfully completed in February 2011 and officially opened by The Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway on 8th May 2011.
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McLean Architects
Contact Details
Phone: 0141 353 2040
Fax: 0141 352 9702
Address:
29 Eagle Street
Craighall Business Park
Glasgow G4 9XA
No. of architects: 7
No. of staff: 13
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