Church renovation becomes a local community asset


Selectaglaze discuss how a  church renovation has meant a deprived building and local community receive something to go ‘ping-pong’ over

The Grade II* Listed Christchurch, 35 Cosway Street is a characterful deconsecrated church in the Lisson Grove Conservation Area. With a plethora of ornate detailing both inside and out, it has made the change of use and renovations very taxing.

Since the 1980s, the former place of worship has been used as B1 grade offices. It was home to Braemar Shipbrokers during a number of years until early 2017, when it sold the leasehold to their corporate headquarters to Greenhouse Sports Ltd.

Greenhouse Sports was founded in 2002 as a sports coaching charity and initially set out to provide deprived young people something positive to do in the school holidays. Demand grew and Greenhouse merged with another charity; Table Tennis for Kids (TTK). Since then, the charity has worked predominantly in schools, delivering full-time sports coaching and mentoring programmes to over 40,000 young people. Recently, they acquired 35 Cosway Street, located in one of the most deprived wards in London, and have refurbished the building into a state of the art sport centre to extend their sport for development model into the community.

Church renovation at the Lisson Grove Conservation AreaA thorough and considerate transformation was required to turn the church into a sports centre, to provide first-rate facilities for the coaches to deliver high-quality sports programmes, for the local community and beyond. Latitude Architects was engaged to work on the plans for the renovation, which were undertaken in consultation with Historic England. Planning permission sought consent for the installation of a lift, new internal lighting, the addition of balustrades to the gallery, a new sports floor and much more.

Surrounded by local shops, residential areas and community buildings including a school; sound insulation was imperative to stop noise escaping and disturbing local residents. The beautiful original single pane stain glass windows could not be changed, so did little to prevent the outbreak of noise. Therefore, Latitude architects specified the use of secondary glazing to provide much desired sound insulation. In addition, it improved the thermal properties of the building and provided guarding in certain areas.

Glazing at church renovationThe introduction of secondary glazing, which is fixed to the room side of a building, is one of the most effective solutions for combating outside noise and a reduction of 45dB is achievable when there is a 100mm-200mm cavity between the primary and secondary windows. Furthermore, secondary glazing traps an insulating layer of air, which can reduce heat loss by up to 50%. With the introduction of low emissivity glass, U-values of around 1.8 can be achieved. The use of high performance twin seals help to virtually wipe out draughts.

Cosmur Construction (London) Ltd, experts in sensitive renovations of Listed buildings, were appointed as Main Contractor, who approached Selectaglaze to discuss the treatment and scheduling of secondary glazing works to the windows. Well versed and undeterred by the unforeseen problems that can pop up when working on Listed Buildings; Cosmur found they had to extensively repair the 150 year old roof. When inspecting the ceiling it was found to bend when touched, yet initially seemed fit for purpose. Specialist tradesmen had to be enlisted with the required skills to re-plaster like for like with lime as first done in 1826 – they even found signatures of the original plasterers in the roof void.

Although the secondary glazing wasn’t as tricky as other areas of the renovation, it still posed some interesting challenges. The windows were huge and had large sweeping curved heads at high level. Therefore to enable exact measurements and a snug fit, a laser measurer was used to plot the arches to facilitate the manufacture of the units.

The newly created mezzanine level cut the full height windows in 2 which left a void in all the reveals. To combat this, the 1st floor glazing also acted as a guard to the void, which included 12mm toughened glass.

Glazing at church renovationA total of 88 units were manufactured and installed, which were a combination of Series 42 fixed lights with curved and standard heads, as well as Series 80 3HS contra sliding units. Some of the Series 80 were 1.9m (h) x 2.3m (w) and weighed over 130kg when all assembled, so fixing points had to be checked for their power to maintain integrity of the installation. The units came in 3 separate panes to enable manual handling and accessing the specific areas for installation.

The transformation is incredible and has given the space a new lease of life, which will benefit the local residents for years to come.

Founded in 1966, and Royal Warrant Holder since 2004, Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working in schools, colleges and universities. A wide range of extensively tested products and fully bespoke manufacture allows sympathetic designs to be created for all types of window. Contact Selectaglaze for more details; literature requests, free technical advisory or to book a RIBA/BIID approved CPD.

Church renovation


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