ST. MARTIN'S CHURCH

Type:           Public
Status:         Competition

Value:          £1,000,000
Works:        Refurbishment and extension of a church

St. Martin Church's utilitarian exterior conceals a rich, vibrant and noteworthy interior. For the closely packed city of Brighton, the grand scale and capacity is rare and valuable. The church and ancillary buildings cover almost all of the site, leaving a shortage of usable outdoor space for parking, access or amenity. The proposed interventions seek to maximise the use of outdoor space and to bring the most value to the site as a whole. The adjacent hall shares the church’s inward focused design and hosts most of the community activities.

This proposal seeks to unlock the value of St. Martin’s essential architectural qualities. Our proposal is for a performance space which will enhance the character of the church building, whilst working alongside the existing users. 


The church was conceived as a space for a people to gather and participate in the service - it has presence as a public building, a large area for gathering, with smaller ancillary supporting spaces. Natural ventilation, controlled access to natural light and the curve of the ceiling vault is designed for optimal acoustic reverberation. The building offers many of the critical, and otherwise expensive features of a performance space. The church operations occupy a limited area and, whilst occur daily, do so for a limited window of time. With the interventions described here, the whole of the site can be brought in to full-time
use. 


The proposed interventions are to:
• Fit-out the church to become a performance venue
• Build new toilet extension to service the performance venue / church
• Remodel the church hall to be fit for purpose as a rehearsal space, 
• Provide facilities for an operator to occupy the venue bar and  cafe
• Build a link between the two buildings to enable better connectivity 
• Activate the street facade by replacing external ramp with cafe garden