Granton United Church

Granton United Church

Client : Port of Leith Housing Association
Location : Edinburgh
Value : undisclosed
Completion Date : Late 2011

The new church at Boswall Parkway will replace an existing building from the 1920’s that was in a poor state of repair and no longer fit for purpose. Linking up with Port of Leith Housing Association, the client negotiated the sale of the site to permit a new build development that includes 15 low cost flats and a bespoke church and community facility.

The new building which is much more compact than the previous church occupies the corner of the site and facing South addresses Boswall Parkway. The flats have been arranged over 4 storeys behind the church in a simple layout that responds to the relationship with adjacent properties and the need to keep the Church in the foreground.

The church accommodation comprises of a multi-purpose hall with an adjacent kitchen, a meeting room, office and ancillary space. The hall which gives the church its form is characterized by an extended rooflight at the top of the single pitched roof. This creates a strip of glazing almost out of sight in the space that washes the back wall and focus of the hall. This simple move will provide the hall with a distinct character and externally with a recognizable profile.

The entrance to the building is on the corner of the site, presenting an open and inviting threshold to what is intended as both a community facility and place of workship.

The church is constructed externally with black facing brick which is an extension of the base course to the flats beyond, giving a continuity of material that links the two parts of the project together. The brick is punctuated by windows and panels of timber laminate which provide a contrast to the brick and a surface on which to present information such as church logos and symbolic references.

In combination with the new flats, the church will regenerate an important corner site in Royston providing an attractive facility for community focus and an opportunity to strengthen the role of the church in the locale.