The Slyne with Hest Church Hall, which was built in 1939 had become so dilapidated that many groups had reluctantly moved their meetings due to drafts, discomfort, safety concern and lack of access. Two Church groups who shared the building; St Luke’s Anglican and Hest Bank United Reform Church came together with a wish for a new building that would lead the Christian community into the future and address ongoing needs in the village.
The Hall was gifted a legacy by Elspeth J Thompson and HPA were appointed to create a new building focused around community outreach.
A new mezzanine gallery area which has been designed but not yet constructed will enable exhibitions, meetings, workshops and elevated viewing, while parish staff and helpers gain more office and vital storage space. A newly levelled entrance ensures access for all, while clever contrasting colours will help those with dementia navigate the building.
The Environmental impact of the building has been reduced with solar panels for power generation, top grade insulation, and rooflights to minimise artificial lighting. The process of designing the Church Hall was a collaborative process and the community were engaged throughout. “At HPA we like to design with our clients and so designing and communicating with the working group has been key to the success of this light, bright innovative community building.”
HPA managed the process of designing the new building through a traditional procurement route as well as acting as the lead consultant on obtaining the Planning Permission for the new building.
“To bring the new hall back to the centre of village life, it has to be inviting and flexible to support community activities from ‘café church gatherings to table tennis leagues; as children play in the large main hall, large folding doors give flexibility of use which is essential to serve so many different community groups.” – Zoe Hooton, Director, HPA.