Acanthus Clews Architects has renovated and extended a 15th-century building in the Cotswolds, England, to create a multifunctional space for the local community.
Located beside the Church of St John the Baptist in the town of Burford, Warwick Hall was originally a medieval house, although was later converted into a school building and then a parish hall, but had since fallen into disrepair.
Banbury-based Acanthus Clews Architects was tasked with providing a sustainable future for the Grade-I listed building
The studio removed the hall's 20th-century extensions, and added a flexible new hall and other facilties. These were designed to compliment the original architecture, but to also introduce a contemporary aesthetic.
"It is hoped that the hall will be able to provide an intimate space for concerts or prayer one day, and then a hub of community activity the next ? with kids groups and a local day centre for the elderly" studio director David Finlay told Dezeen.
"In principle it developed from trying to maximise views and natural light on a narrow, sensitive site where we had very little opportunity for ground floor windows."
The sculptural form of the two-storey extension was determined by how daylight and outward views could be introduced most efficiently.
To reduce the impact of the new structure, the massing was split into a series of smaller volumes that are separate from the original building, connected by a glazed walkway.
The new light-filled hall features generous windows overlooking the churchyard, providing a contrast to the original hall. But is also includes black-out blinds, making it suitable for a variety of uses.
"In order for the hall to be truly flexible, it has to have the ability to either be a private, intimate, black-box space or the very opposite ? a visibly open hall filled with light and views," Finlay explained.
All the glazing in this space is located at a high level, and includes both skylights and c...