2015 Church Architecture Awards

Published: Wednesday, November 11, 2015


The winners of two church architecture awards have been announced by the National Churches Trust and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association.

The King of Prussia Gold Medal

Nick Joyce Architects from Worcester won the 2015 King Of Prussia Gold Medal for repair and conservation architecture for a project to repair the timber framed tower of St Peter’s church, Pirton, Worcestershire.

At the ceremony, Prince Nicholas von Preussen presented Nick Joyce with the King of Prussia Gold Medal, the gift of King Frederick William IV of Prussia (1795 – 1861) to the Incorporated Church Building Society in 1857. The award has been made annually since the early 1980s, when the medal was re-discovered during an office move. The medal is held by the winning architect for one year and afterwards a silver replica is provided.

St Peter’s church received a £500 prize.

Judges were looking for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work that has successfully overcome a major aesthetic or technical challenge.

Judges remarks: “Repairs to a timber-framed tower, an unusual constructional form. This is always a tricky and very challenging type of repair as there are so many aspect to consider. Thoroughly done to high standards.”

In 2015, 18 entries were received for the King of Prussia Gold Medal, the highest number for several years.

Two schemes were awarded runner-up places; St Peter’s church, East Drayton, Nottinghamshire, by Soul Architects for major structural repairs and re-roofing following an infestation of death watch beetle and St Martin’s church, Gospel Oak, London, by Rees Bolter Architects for urgent repairs to the tower and the reinstatement of a colossal 9 metre high corner tower that had been removed in about 1950.

Presidents’ Award

The reinstatement of St Nicholas’ church, in Radford Semele, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire by architects Caroe & Partners won the 2015 Presidents ’ Award for new church architecture.

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO presented the Presidents’ Award to Rev’d Martin Green from St Nicholas’ church. The award comprises a chalice and paten, commissioned by the Incorporated Church Building Society, and made after World War II, to be loaned to a new or seriously war damaged church. Today, the chalice and paten are lent to the winning parish to be held by them for the next twelve months. The winning church also received a £500 prize.

The Presidents’ Award is awarded on behalf of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association President and the National Churches Trust’s Joint Presidents, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. New church buildings and new designs in church re-ordering, alterations or extensions are eligible for The Presidents’ Award. The award is open to church buildings of all Christian denominations in the UK.

Judges were looking for:

•    Innovation, invention and originality

•    Fitness for use as a church, or part of a church building, in the 21st century

•    Does the work have the potential to bring new life to the church?

•    Architectural Quality

•    Sensitivity to Context

•    Elegance of Construction & Detail

Judges were also asked to consider to what extent the design is environmentally-responsible.

Judges remarks:  “A rebuild and reorder after a fire. What was salvageable has been incorporated into the new building giving the design team a problem of how to span the roof over the remains of the North arcade. This has been inventively realised with a clever roof which gives its axis at right angles to the main East focus. The new work speaks for itself in an unassertive way; it is in sympathy with existing materials and scale and is well detailed. “

This year, 25 entries were received for the Presidents’ Award, a record number, with eleven being shortlisted by the judging panel.

Two schemes were awarded runner-up places; Our Lady of Lourdes, a new Roman Catholic church in Hungerford, Berkshire designed by Jeremy Bell Architects and a new extension to the 700 year old church building of Clare Priory in Suffolk, designed by architects Inkpen Downie.

You can find full details on our Church Architecture Awards webpages.