A CURVED ENTRANCE SCREEN OF ASHLAR BATH STONE BLOCKS
The Victorian church, damaged by fire in 2000, has been rebuilt and extended. The main walls are of brick laid in English bond and the main entrance has a new curved screen of ashlar Bath stone - a material matching the original building's dressings and string courses.
The curved entrance screen, freestanding on the south and west side and acting as the external wall to a wedgeshaped office on the north side, is designed to reduce the huge scale of the gable wall behind.
It also directs the congregation towards the main entrance: from the west they walk directly through the screen opening; from the south and east they ascend a curved staircase partly enclosed by the screen.
The screen is curved to a radius of around 9.5m with a recessed band of stone below the projecting coping and a series of 35 x 35mm rusticated rebates that run horizontally, stopping short of the ends.
The screen is formed of ashlar Bath stone blocks, self-supporting and fixed with stainless-steel cramps to a core of 400mm concrete. The blocks - generally 910mm x 605mm, the largest size that could be quarried - were wire-cut to form the curve. They are jointed with 5mm lime mortar.
Movement is accommodated by pockets in the undersides of the coping blocks, plus 10mm vertical silicone joints, their surfaces brushed with stone dust.