AIA awards Eric Parry UK design

Niki May Young
Tuesday 31 Mar 2009

St Martin-inthe-Fields renewal's elegance rewarded

Eric Parry Architects was awarded an Excellence in Design Award for the renewal of St Martin-inthe-Fields by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) UK Chapter at a ceremony held on 26thMarch.

The scheme was introduced by Peter Murray, chairman of Wordsearch and a member of this year’s awards jury, who praised “the elegant architectural solution proposed for this highly complex project.” Murray also commended St Martin’s for its “stroke of genius in choosing an architect who understands the relationship between old and new in this city”.

The £36 million Renewal of St Martin-in-the-Fields officially opened in October last year showcasing a newly widened Church Path linking Charing Cross Station and Adelaide Street to St Martin’s Place and a new glass pavilion.

Visible from Trafalgar Square, the pavilion provides a fully accessible entrance to the new spaces which have been created below. These house many activities vital to the life of St Martin’s including The Bishop Ho Ming Wah Chinese Community Centre, a new purpose-built music rehearsal room, the Dick Sheppard Chapel, and community meeting rooms and exhibition spaces as well as the award-winning Café and Shop in the Crypt.

A light-well brings daylight and ventilation to the new spaces below ground, and from its base gives a magnificent view of the restored church spire. Engraved around the light-well is a specially commissioned poem from the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion.

Eric Parry, founder and principal of the practice, said: “We are delighted to receive recognition for the careful work that lies behind this project. Our aim, and that of the client, was always to return a ‘better’ St Martin’s to its community and reinstate its status as a major contribution to London’slandscape.”

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