The Parish at St Kevin’s in Hampton Park was rapidly outgrowing their old existing church and Smith + Tracey was called upon to assess how the building could be upgraded and enlarged to cater for its increasing patronage. The building was a tired and dark converted hall with no real sense of religious purpose or community ‘fit’. The space was too small to cope with the regularly large congregations and the building lacked clarity in its layout from entry to sanctuary.
Smith + Tracey reviewed the configuration and explored an innovative solution to meet the limited budget and address the various spatial and layout issues. The idea was to rotate the building axis through 90 degrees, extend the nave, and create a more ceremonial sequence of spaces, including a new prominent entry. Much of the existing building structure was reused in order to minimise expenditure for the Parish. The roof was lifted to provide much needed clear storey windows for improved daylight. The sanctuary is now flooded with side light and the new entry space elevated in volume and daylight levels.
The nave was given a welcome lift in height and volume with some major exposed structural trusses providing clear span support for the floating central roof element. The new lobby creates a place to gather in comfort and doubles as an overflow area for the congregation at peak times. A large cantilevered skillion canopy signals to all the community a clear and welcoming entry point. A tall freestanding steel cross to the front reinforces that signal. Ancillary spaces including sacristies and piety stall have been added or adapted to the existing building and the external façade modernised with large areas of glazing and light painted brick walls.
The transformation is complete and totally embraced by the Parish and resident priests. The success of the creative concept delivered by Smith + Tracey is clearly evident and the church now stands proud, distinct and well-loved by the community.