Presidents' Award 2017 for reordering extensions and alterations - Winners


The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO ARIBA presented the award to the winner of the Presidents’ Award for reordering, extensions or alteration to church buildings category:  St Anne, Soho, London and Upchurch Associates, including students at Central St Martins Sherief Al Rifa'i & Lina Viluma, for a new entrance and foyer.

The Presidents’ Award, a chalice and paten, is shared with the winner of the Presidents' Award for new church buildings. The two winning churches each received a £500 prize.

Architects Donald Insall Associates were highly commended for their work on Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead, London, creating new community space, facilities, and access.

St Anne, Soho

St Anne's was consecrated in 1686, destroyed in the blitz of 1940, and rebuilt as multi-purpose chapel and community hall in 1991. A shortage of funds at the time meant that St Anne's main entrance, in a facade of shops and offices on Dean Street, was simply furnished with heavy iron gates leading a dark featureless corridor.

In 2014 the present Rector, Rev'd Simon Buckley, set to change this with a vision for a church that was eye catching, open and welcoming - one which connected with the character of Soho. 

The design by Shereif Al Rifa'i and Lina Viluma replaced the iron gates with sleek glass doors, over which the name of the church is written in bold neon lighting.  The doors bear 'push plates' in cold cast aluminium embossed with hand prints cast from members of the community.  The look is bright, clean and modern, accessible and inviting.

Upchurch Associates

Upchurch Associates is an award-winning architectural practice with a background in residential and commercial development. The practice specialises in commercially aware good design and in work in Conservation Areas and to sensitive Listed Buildings. 

The judges said:

“We were delighted by this small scheme which brings a sense of style and fun to the entrance of St Anne's church in Soho. The involvement of architecture students from Central St Martin's from the start of the project has clearly paid off by bringing, as it has, a fresh artistic eye to the design of this new foyer. 


The design has a strong idea but has also been carefully refined, employing subtle geometries in the ceiling and joinery. These elements have been combined with a striking lighting scheme to make a dynamic and inviting entrance to the church.”

Highly Commended

Donald Insall Associates were Highly Commended for their work at Emmanuel Church in West Hampstead, London. This is an Edwardian Gothic Revival church designed by the architect J.A. Thomas, built in 1897. Donald Insall Associates have improved the church’s ongoing viability by repairing the structural stability of the floor, creating four new community rooms and greatly improved facilities and access.