The facade of the new Cambridge Community Church is heavily glazed with Kawneer system

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Cambridge Community Church.

BCR Architects and Tim Soar

Cambridge Community Church.


Architectural glazing by leading UK aluminium systems manufacturer Kawneer have been specified for an award-winning community church for their ability to match performance with cost-effectiveness.

Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling, AA®540 top-hung casement vents, and series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors and swing doors were selected by Barber Casanovas Ruffles architects for the £5 million Cambridge Community Church (C3).

The new church for C3, a vibrant contemporary evangelical church, was built on the site of the previous St Stephens Church on Brookes Road, Cambridge, with a brief to provide a state-of-the-art facility that was large, spacious and welcoming to existing and prospective worshippers.

Barber Casanovas Ruffles met the brief designing a three-storey circa 2,900m² steel frame and composite slab building. The main frontage responds to the site and Coldhams Lane roundabout and is curved on plan to respond to the site boundary and public footpath. The site location is on a gateway into Cambridge. The building comprises a 500-seat auditorium, multi-purpose rooms, full catering facilities, offices, break-out areas and a walk-in café for all members of the public.

The heavily-glazed building is also faced with brickwork and is expressed with glulam beams in facetted structural bays. Planning requirements dictated high levels of acoustic control to retain noise within the building. The design responded to this requirement and the building completed to suit.

Some elements of the old church were salvaged and inserted into the new building. These included the existing church cross from the top of the original church roof and cast concrete lintels with integral cross insignia.

A Barber Casanovas Ruffles spokesman said: Kawneer was selected for many reasons. The practice has a long history with the use of the products, their balance of performance, longevity and cost.

The Kawneer systems have a major architectural influence on the project because the frontage needed to be open and inviting and transparent and friendly to encourage parishioners or people with religious beliefs to join the church. The product satisfied the technical performance and the architectural aesthetic required for the scheme.

Aluminium is robust, generally lightweight and recyclable which provides a longevity to the building, an ability to retain the aesthetic over time, to keep the weight on the structure to a minimum, and is a commercially-available product which suits industry budgets.

The Kawneer systems were installed for main contractor Farrans Construction by specialist sub-contractor JPJ Installations who used 150mm flat caps on the curtain walling entrances integrated with additional horizontal pressings around the doors.

Barber Casanovas Ruffles said: The client is absolutely delighted with the facility and we as a practice are delighted to have been and continue to be involved with the C3 Centre. We are very proud of the design, the client and contractor teams and the efforts made to ensure the building is a success.




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