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Lee Boyd submit plans for Monifieth Church

June 2 2015

Lee Boyd submit plans for Monifieth Church
Lee Boyd Architects have submitted plans for a new build sanctuary and hall for Monifieth Parish Church following the amalgamation of three kirks within the town.

Plans call for the unlisted South Church on the High Street to be demolished to make way for the new build, which relates to a neighbouring tenement by extrapolation of a first floor horizontal band to a single storey plinth.

This plinth will be clad in ashlar stone with areas of cast stone detailing with twin roof facades above this datum composed of diagonally bedded dog tooth brickwork.

In their design statement Lee Boyd said: “These two main roof volumes are distinct entities set inside the outer plinth line and are not mimicking any adjacent rooflines or roof forms. The sanctuary roof is set on the diagonal of the square space below and creates a roof profile that is deliberately unique in character providing the church with an appropriate identity on the High Street. This character is not overtly ecclesiastical but still suggestive of a large public volume.

“This roof form can be seen in the round as it does not connect with the gable of the tenement, reinforcing the status of the space below and avoiding conflict between new and existing. The internal space between this roof volume and the tenement gable is accommodation for storage and plant that is expressed on the front façade by stepping back at the junction with the tenement corner.”

The completed hall will double as a space for community groups.


#1 Posted by stef3d on 2 Jun 2015 at 15:42 PM
This shows a lot of promise. Interior volumes look interesting and it has a nice relationship with the street. Also, as a 3d visualiser I much prefer a simple sketchup view like this which is well composed, gives a realistic sense of context and a subtle hint at materials, rather than some of the other crude attempts that have graced UR recently.
#2 Posted by james on 2 Jun 2015 at 16:43 PM
Yes, a 2-way drawing. Lee Boyd are a class act. Good to see a church presence on the High street. One tiny query though - how do they propose to blind out the high triangular corner window into the sanctuary when the projection is on ? Probably a daft question? :-)
#3 Posted by Stephen on 5 Jun 2015 at 14:38 PM
#1. Afraid I couldn't disagree more about the quality of the visual. The scheme might have some potential but (to my eyes) there isn't enough info here to see it and the image is awful. Would be interested to see additional context. Seems to be a lot going on in the scheme that doesn't relate to what little we can see of the context, other than the datum that's been set up.
#4 Posted by james on 5 Jun 2015 at 15:29 PM
#3 In the case of this drawing, I suspect 'politics' are at play, but i could be wrong.

For me, the visual is compositional and informative (for the architects) and purposefully ambiguous (for others). If you want to see the context then open up google maps and have a looksee (it just looks like a ubiquitous fairly posh Scottish East coast High Street to me). Architects are not a public information service.

As a modern church Sanctuary needs to be more like an auditorium, rather than what we consider the inside of a 'traditional church' to be like, then I think the Architects have quite rightly tried to play down the windowless mass of the Erskinesque-gable of the sanctuary and fly this application beneath the radar by making the image as visually 'light' as possible. Such are the vagaries of the planning system. (Hence no contextual 3D images etc.) Good luck to them. - I can just hear the planner say, ' that a 'blank'? Wall....?'

For me, the image is resolved. The three ground floor windows 'ground' the relative shapelessness of the gable (if there is such a word)
#5 Posted by Stephen on 6 Jun 2015 at 14:11 PM
#4. Don't get me wrong James, I don't hate it, I just think the image is very poor, politics or no.
You were right about my laziness in not looking up the context for myself. Have done so now.
The plinth definitely seems like a good way to pull together some fairly disparate surroundings, but I'd be concerned about a couple of things: Dogtooth brickwork doesn't appear to have any precedent on the street and neither does standing seam roofing. In a context as varied as this I can't help thinking that it's more sensitive to adhere to the existing, especially if the form is going to be so alien as well. The adjacent tenement seems to offer good cues for material, massing and street presence. With so many design devices (mainly in form and materials) diverging from the surrounds, then it doesn't feel like it quite belongs. To me, the best architecture is a process resulting in something that feels like it was an inevitability. This feels as though something that was successful elsewhere (eg. brickwork at Niall McLaughlin's chapel, or a now fairly ubiquitous asymmetrical roof-form) might be playing slightly too strong a role. I'm not saying it should be conformist, just that it should more directly take its cues from the context and innovate from there.

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