Studio BAD have achieved planning permission for their design proposals of St Luke’s Church in Southsea, Portsmouth, following on from the success of our St Margaret’s Church redevelopment.

The design concept looks to enhance the engagement of the church with the community at all levels, make the physical space more welcoming and restful for the visitors. The concept embraces a phased approach, creating a plan that is achievable in stages, as and when the church can raise funds.

Phase 1 looks to enhance the courtyard space between the street and the front entrance, to deliver a quick, cost effective, vibrant and inviting space that will encourage the community into the church. A key element will be to create a new café entrance into this courtyard area, with a new visible and welcoming façade. To draw people into the space we suggest simple street painting, creating a colourful, playful and meandering path into the courtyard and on to the church. The courtyard would be animated and softened with movable, colourful planters, wild flowers meadow, a terraced vegetable garden and reflection garden.

Our proposal breaks down the threshold of the church, stripping back the existing entryway and replacing the front door, inserting additional glazing and refurbishing the internal hall and entry space to make the church a more physically welcoming space.

Phase 2 looks at more permeant solutions, restoring the church and taking root. Internally the work looks to repair the existing church walls, laying a level church floor with an integrating heating system to enhance the comfort of the space internally. Externally the work looks to root the courtyard, taking the first phase designs and enhancing with a more permanent garden, including the introduction of a planted colonnade and resurfacing the courtyard.

Phase 3 would further elevate and enhance the building. Internally the design adds a mezzanine level above the central nave, elevating the design upwards and maximising the space internally, to offer study areas, informal seating, also adding private consultation rooms. The design looks to enhance the ground floor space by adding co-working spaces, café seating and much needed permanent storage solutions.

Internally the design concept looks to enhance the existing, adding design details such as ‘Kintsugi’ inspired walls, repairing the existing with different materials to embrace the change and make them art pieces. The Japanese art ‘Kintsugi’ traditionally takes broken pottery and puts it back together with gold, embracing the flaws and imperfections resulting in something stronger and more beautiful than the original. The concept designs also explores different materials for the exterior, such as corten steel, to add a contemporary design element to the entrance of the church.

Practice : Studio: B.A.D Architects

Time Scale: April 2022 – ongoing

Budget: Undisclosed

Location: Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Client: St Luke’s Church