Sprunt Architects - St Peter's Stonegrove
Project - St Peter's Stonegrove
Sector - Commercial
Architect - Sprunt Architects
Technology - Timber, CLT, Glulam
St Peter's Stonegrove is a new community building by Sprunt Architects that combines a church, community centre and nursery, acting as the hub for a 1,000 home regeneration of the Stonegrove Estate in Barnet, north London. Replacing a cherished 1960s community church that had fallen into disrepair, Sprunt's design deliberately references the previous building while providing the community with a new and adaptable facility.
Large Larch cross laminated timber louvres suspended from deep eaves on the main elevation characterise the scheme and signpost the main elevation. Forming a cloister that shades the main windows, the louvres work to limit excessive solar gain for the majority of the year. On 29 June each year - St Peter's Day - they are carefully positioned so that sunlight fully enters the church through a large window. Behind the louvres, gabion walls emerge from the earth, wrapping the worship spaces before rising to form a bell tower; a physical metaphor of the church's strong community embrace. Lightweight Fibreline composite panels clad the adjoining community centre and nursery.
Accommodating up to 160 worshippers, the church contains no fixed furnishings or iconography allowing the Edgware Parish Team to share the space with other denominations and host secular events. A separate chapel, lit from above by a single skylight, is a devotional space for smaller services and gatherings.
Acting as a spine, a central corridor connects the café, church and community centre, allowing each element to function independently. A multifunctional community space opens out through a double height cloister onto an external area, providing the ability to host events throughout the year.
A playful 'fort' style set of timber clad stairs provide external access to a bright and spacious nursery and toddlers play area located on the first floor. Positioning these facilities in such a way has created the opportunity to subtly increase surveillance and security levels.
A parabolic timber roof references the shape of the former church and acts as an umbrella, unifying the three distinct zones within the building. Internally, a latticed glulam spruce structure is exposed, providing an impressive focal point within the double height church and nursery on the upper floor. Externally, the roof overhangs the perimeter of the building providing shelter to the main entrance and a covered external play area for the nursery.
New landscaping with retained mature trees and new planting provides an attractive and safe place for the community to congregate, rest and play.
Since the opening of the building in July 2016, the congregation has grown significantly.