The restoration of St Saviours Church Hall is a joint project initiated by The Lenkiewicz Foundation and social enterprise Fotonow. The hall dates from the 1880s when it served as a Sunday school to the former Anglican church adjacent. After bombing destroyed the church in 1941, ownership of the hall building passed to Plymouth City Council, and in the mid 1990s artist Robert Lenkiewicz acquired the tenancy, using the space to house his extensive library.
Together the Lenkiewicz Foundation and Fotonow CIC propose to return the building to community use by way of a joint Community Asset Transfer. The Hall will serve as a creative and educational hub for their respective projects, as well as an exemplar pilot for the social re-purposing of an underused building.
McCaren Architecture have been commissioned to design the restoration which will involve a new internal layout to suit the day-to-day operations of each organization, new income-generating uses including a café and rental spaces, and the building’s modernisation to meet regulatory standards for disabled access, energy performance, and sanitation. Preparing information to support funding bids, achieving inclusive access, and maximising the potential of spaces in the Bell Tower and Panopticon Tower are key aspects of the project brief.
In February 2015 McCaren supported the clients in the delivery of their first stage community consultation—a St Saviour’s open doors event. We contributed towards preparation and planning, produced visuals to help the public understand the project, were on hand to answer questions, and helped guide visitors around the building.
‘McCaren Architecture has enabled us to better focus the ambition for the partnership and creative aspects St Saviours Church Hall project. There is a genuine sense of ambition for the wider arts and cultural offer of Plymouth inherent in their team, revealed through an approach that extends far beyond the physical building design – seeing the potential for enhancing the wider community.’
Matthew Pontin, Creative Director, Fotonow CIC