Beccles Baptist Church extension exterior looking up

Beccles Baptist Church is located near the centre of the town and this growing church were keen to extend their building to create additional facilities for various church activities, including the children’s and youth work. The existing main chapel has a lean-to vestry behind it and a church hall beyond that with a modern linking block accommodating the toilets. Two elements of extension were proposed, one to wrap around the existing chapel building creating first floor meeting rooms above the vestry and the toilets, with a new entrance foyer, office and staircase to access the new first floor accommodation. The other element of extension was to the rear of the existing hall, though this has been left for a future phase 2. The new entrance foyer space was designed to create a full 2 storey height void with glazed roofing above, to drop light down the side of the existing building into the ground floor space. The exposed facing brickwork of the church was retained. The highly glazed street facing gable enables the view along the full length of the existing chapel building to be retained.  The meeting room above the vestry was created by lowering the original high ceiling in the vestry, and raising the lean-to roof level, extending the brickwork walls and forming a continuous band of glazing between the two, this creates a bright and airy space with minimal visual alteration to the original structure.  Overall the extension improves the side entrance into the building, creating additional accommodation and maintaining the key visual characteristics of the original building using them as focal features of the new spaces created.