Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A message from the Architect

The works to build this landmark project are well underway now and the profile of the new church has now become visible. The dream of the new church is now beginning to be realised.

Members of the church committee had a dream of St. Panteleimon Church to reflect a Byzantine form and to echo the dreams and memories from the times that they spent living in Cyprus and Greece.

Papa Architects became involved with this historical project late in 2007. We adopted the footprint of the planning approved scheme and set upon the mammoth task of designing the church, always mindful that a church of this nature has not been build in this country for over a century.

One of the challenges that Papa Architects were faced with was to build a Byzantine church in the 21st century using materials and forms that they reflected from a past era, while meeting current building and thermal requirement that will ensure a more efficient, affordable and comfortable running for the church.

To add to the complexity of the project, the church is to be built in amongst traditional British housing on a very tight and restricting site.

The cross axis formation was developed whereby the plan layout was laid out in the cross formation, emphasising internally the two barrel vaults to the roof crossing in the centre to create a 10m diameter, copper roofed clad dome that will elevate over the horizon to over 17.5m in height. The copper roof will be further used to the 16m high bell tower and to the two turrets either side of the church.

Traditionally the church would have been build of local stone, however when we consider the local context we decided to build the outside skin in brick, which is more suited to the British climate and surrounding area. We have introduced stonework columns, cills, cornices, dentils, and surrounds to give hierarchy to the respected elevations.

The internal superstructure, including the mezzanine floor, barrelled roof and domes will be formed in mass in-situ cast reinforced concrete built off a piled rafted foundation.

The entire interior envelope will be rendered smooth to receive specialist iconography, illuminated with natural daylight and specially designed and controlled artificial lighting.

The church will be heated through a zoned network of under floor heating bedded within the insulated floors and concealed beneath the stone floors. Natural ventilation will be encouraged to ensure a comfortable environment.

St. Panteleimon Church will truly be a monument building that will be enjoyed for generations to come.
Michael Neocleous
Papa Architects Ltd.

No comments: