THE GATE, READING
This exciting project replaces a poor quality existing church building with a modern, state of the art new church and community centre. The designs feature a welcoming entrance foyer, drop-in café and large flexible worship space with associated meeting rooms and storage at ground floor level. The first floor provides additional flexible meeting and seminar rooms with associated storage, refreshment and sanitary facilities. Modern and light offices, a prayer room and a community art studio with north facing rooflights are located within a highly glazed set back second floor 'pavilion'.
The site presented a number of challenges with a sloping topography and being surrounded on all sides by housing. The sensitive design prevents overlooking to neighbouring properties and the sloping roof with set back upper floor respects the outlook from the surrounding dwellings. A creative landscape design with sensory garden, play spaces and café terrace complements a high quality and sustainable building faced in stone, copper standing seam cladding and modern glazing. The sedum roof and solar panels contribute towards a sustainable new building which achieves a BREEAM 'Very Good' accreditation.