Client brief:

The High Street Centre is based at the Rawmarsh Methodist Church and fulfils a wide range of community services and is well used by its community. However, access around the building is severely compromised and the entrance is unwelcoming. The centre is short on storage space and number of toilets and the escape stairs limit the number of people who can use the building.

Our solution:

We designed a new foyer space to create a new ‘face’ to the Centre opposite the main approach from Rawmarsh High Street. This new frontage is designed to be welcoming, transparent and lightweight so that the existing stone work and stained glass windows will be seen and appreciated.

Our design improves the entrance with automatic doors and level access and creates a new reception desk and area with a place to help visitors. A generous new stair will connect the entrance to the upper hall and the existing lift will be stitched back into the new circulation, saving the expense of a new lift.

We worked with the High Street Centre to consult widely on the proposals and the reception to the designs was universally positive. We gained planning approval for our design in 2014 and the client is currently fundraising for the build.

What the client says:

“We met with Simon and explained the current issues with the building and all we hoped to achieve. He listened to all we said then went away and produced several possible solutions for us — none of which we would ever of come up with ourselves. We then worked through these and Simon supported us with consultation resources and tools for gathering the views of the different groups that use the building. Simon supported us in applying for Planning Permission and used his expertise and experience to give our application the best possible chance of gaining permission. Our application for planning permission was approved and we are now in the process of raising funds.”