City of Edinburgh Methodist Church : Edinburgh
City of Edinburgh Methodist Church
Completed 2014 at Page \ Park Architects
Originally designed in 1815 by then city architect Thomas Brown, the Methodist Chapel at Nicholson Square was selected in 2009 out of four possible churches to become a consolidated hub for Methodist and community activity. The project sought to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in the heart of the city which would cater for the needs of the congregation and community alike into the 21st century. Andrew Taylor acted as Project Architect whilst working at Page \ Park Architects for the £2.2m refurbishment and extension of the building.
Initially the church itself occupied the same site as, however was not directly connected to, the adjoining Epworth Halls. The proposals sought to bring the various ancillary units together with the main building, creating a single multipurpose complex which could serve its congregation more fluidly and effectively. In the completed design, a combination of glass and zinc are primarily used to link the existing elements while providing light and views from appropriate areas. Warm timbers are used throughout the interior, ensuring a warm and intimate atmosphere while modern design principles are employed to convey a crisp and clean aesthetic and convey a story of evolution over time.
Internally, the works were approach as a series of interventions within the existing historic fabric, dealing with entrance, cafe, activity hall, gallery space and sanctuary.
Each of these were designed to resolve their own specific issues while creating a cohesive pattern of spaces, with a consistent architectural aesthetic of ‘frame and panel’.
The Cafe was moved to the ground floor and the entrance was modified to facilitate level access, creating a welcoming environment and affording views of the courtyard space to the rear.
At higher level, the gallery, activity and sanctuary spaces have been modified to accommodate a diverse range of functions and cater for Edinburgh Fringe performances while improving access, amenity and escape.