Holy SureSet – Paving the way to enlightenment.

St Mark’s Church, Myddleton Square.

At nearly 200 years old, St Mark’s Church is a Grade II listed church, recognised for its special architectural and historic interest being called “A country church in an urban landscape.”

Throughout the last century, the church has undergone many changes and renovations to allow for a greater use of the space to accommodate the ever-expanding needs of the community. In 2008 St Marks church opened its doors and welcomed the congregation of the Trinity church Islington, bringing with them fresh new skills and a boost in revenue to allow for further developments and improvements.

The church’s access was inadequate as there was no level or ramped access except temporary installations on Sundays. The church and their architects wished to create an open, accessible and welcoming frontage to the church. As such, the project comprised the removal of the hostile metal railings across the front boundary, refurbishment to the front steps and the construction of an access ramp to the south door.

SureSet were first approached by ZRP Architects in August 2016 after the church had shown an interest in our Norwegian Pearl aggregate and were impressed by our (then) 18-year guarantee. The work was scheduled in two phases, firstly a small area at the top of the main steps into the church and following that a brand-new access ramp to the side of the church allowing suitable access for mobility scooters, wheels chairs and members of the public with reduced mobility.

SureSet worked alongside ZRP to finalise an aggregate and offer technical advice on the access ramps as different options were suggested. Our technical team loved the challenge of a bespoke installation and were more than happy to share their knowledge and experience with the designers and architects.

The order for the step tread at the main entrance to the church was received at the start of 2017 and installed at the end of January. The aggregate chosen was our luxurious 6mm Buttermilk marble. This was an almost perfect match for the surrounding stonework meaning it seamlessly blended in offering a modern, hard wearing and accessible surface.

ZRP Architects continued to work with SureSet’s sales and technical team on the access ramp aspect of the project, proposing the construction of the ramp would be made from one off steel trays infilled with concrete to offer minimal disruption to the church grounds.

The ramp was designed to have minimal impact with its radially arranged fins permitting views through towards the church at all points of view. The site was also landscaped to provide a sensory garden. The ramp was blessed by the Bishop of Stepney on St Mark’s day 2018 and has been well received by the local community. With a great thanks to @j.sailer_fabrication who expertly crafted the metal substructure and anodised aluminium fins.

Since completing the installation in April 2018, the improved access has been greatly received by the church and congregation.

“We are delighted with the new access. The ramp is regularly used every day: by our preschool group, families coming to our Sunday and weekday services, daily Meditators and members of the congregation who use either a mobility scooter or a wheelchair. They cannot access the building without a ramp, so now our church is open to all. The ramp is also of great use during weddings, christening and funerals.”    

As a final feather in the cap, ZRP Architects and St Mark’s has been shortlisted for the President’s Award of the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association and National Churches Trust. The main architect working on the project at ZRP, Frazer Haviz, has also been shortlisted for the Young Church Architect or Surveyor Award.

 

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