Charles Lanyon's portfolio of work can be reduced to his significant buildings in Belfast, notably Queens University or Custom House. The other buildings completed by the 19th-century English architect are easy to omit. Saint Johns Church of Ireland in Glynn, 3 miles from Larne, is one such example. The original stone church built in 1841 as a modestly-sized proposal set in the landscape outside the village.
As a congregation grows, often the requirement for additional space is consistently apparent. Extra room to support different functions, particularly on Sundays, became the foundation of the brief. Adding to any historic building requires high levels of consideration and sensitivity to respect the original design while achieving the client's vision.
With this extension, the building finishes are crucial elements of the design in terms of consideration and execution. The stone and white render simultaneously reflect the rural context and the original church. The long glass windows form a junction between the old and new building elements - a sensible method to weave the existing and proposed together. The rendered flanking walls meet at the graveyard entrance ensuring the stone construction of 2 era's does not clash or offend each other.
The windows inside are purposefully high to articulate the space functions of the new rooms. Natural light can flood in and views out frame the rolling hills surrounding the church.
Historic buildings do have extra levels of complexity when working within or extending. The reward at the end sees the ways a carefully considered intervention unlocks an array of potential. Our contribution to this Lanyon Church design enhances its participation in the village and allow it to grow in the future.