Refurbishing St. Mary’s Church

St. Mary’s Church in Watford, near London, is a magnificent eight hundred year old building, like there are quite a few to be found in England. But at some points the church does not entirely satisfy the requirements which the congregation has in these times: a building that offers the necessary flexibility and gives visitors a welcoming feeling. Also the extension from the 1970’s is not to everybody’s liking. From the outside it does not show that this annex was built more than seven and a half centuries later than the main building; on the inside, however, it lacks any character and on top of that the roof is leaking.

For some years there have been plans for a major refurbishment but for a variety of reasons little has happened so far. In the coming period the members of the congregation will enter a series of discussions with each other and with the architect involved. The goal of this process is to have a finished design at the end of the year. After a period of fundraising the renovation would have to take place in the summer of 2016.

Pews and chairs

To help get the discussion going, I made ​​a visualization of what is probably the most simple intervention: the refurbishment of the church hall. By replacing the pews with chairs, the space can be used in multiple ways and for multiple purposes. This is how the hall looks now:


And this is the same space without the pews but with chairs, a new floor and new lighting fixtures:


UPDATE: this image appeared to be only the first of many more visualisations of St.Mary’s Church

Frans Blok

My work explores the border regions of photography, painting and computer visuals. With my company 3Develop I do work in commission but I use the same techniques, skills and software to make free work. I am originally an architect and I live in Rotterdam; for that reason the architecture of that city is a major (but not the only) source of inspiration. But also travel to countries like Iceland and Britain, or walks in the Netherlands, provide much material. Seeing and showing quality and beauty, that is what my work is about.

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