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Hugh Broughton wins Sheerness Dockyard church overhaul

Sheerness Dockyard Church
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Hugh Broughton Architects has been awarded a publicly tendered contract for a £4.1 million restoration of a Grade II*-listed derelict church at Sheerness Dockyard

The practice was chosen ahead of Dow Jones Architects, Julian Harrap Architects, Purcell and Shepheard Epstein Hunter to win the estimated £600,000 design contract.

Hugh Broughton Architects – working with conservation specialist Martin Ashley Architects – will draw up plans to restore and convert the ruined Neoclassical landmark into a new flexible business space, restaurant and exhibition area for a large model of the historic harbour.

Planned to complete in 2021, the Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust-backed project will re-open the 1828 naval chapel to the public 16 years after it was damaged by arson. Currently only the external walls, tower and portico survive of the original building, which served Sheerness’ Royal Navy Dockyard until its closure in 1960.

Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust chair Will Palin said: ‘The Sheerness Dockyard Preservation Trust is delighted to welcome Hugh Broughton Architects as lead designer on this amazing project. In addition to design flare and a meticulous attention to detail, Hugh will bring tremendous energy and enthusiasm to this unique project, which straddles conservation and cutting-edge design.

‘He brings an A-list team including Martin Ashley, one of our foremost architects working with historic buildings, who will guide the conservation treatment of this extraordinary landmark and its special setting. We look forward to starting work with Hugh and his team, developing our exciting plan to bring this long-derelict architectural jewel back to life.’

Hugh Broughton said: ‘We are thrilled to have been appointed for this important project, which will breathe new life into an important historic building and, most importantly, provide a valuable and engaging resource for the people of Sheerness, which can act as a beacon of optimism within the community.’

Sheerness – the largest town on the Isle of Sheppey in the Thames Estuary – started out as a 17th century fort protecting the nearby River Medway. Sheerness remained a naval dockyard until 1960 when operations ceased and large areas of the settlement became derelict.

The former Royal Naval dockyard chapel is one of several surviving structures including a fort, two dry docks and some terraced housing. Designed by John Rennie, the 1828 building is now owned by the preservation trust, which aims to transform the building into a focus for regeneration in the wider area.

The project will restore the chapel and create a new business incubator space. It will also deliver a restaurant area, education space, events room and a first floor gallery for exhibiting a unique large-scale model of the historic dockyard.

Construction is expected to commence in 2018, with an opening scheduled for the end of 2021. 

Sheerness Dockyard Church

Sheerness Dockyard Church

Sheerness Dockyard Church

Sheerness Dockyard Church

Sheerness Dockyard Church

Source: Image by Chris Whippet

Sheerness Dockyard Church

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