Having recently purchased a modestly sized traditional church building, JD Wetherspoons contracted Pacific Building to carry out its conversion into a restaurant and pub which set the attractive original features of the building in a modern leisure context, including the retention and restoration of original stained glass windows, and the imposing presence of the full church organ as a feature above the bar. Works involved the sympathetic and careful dismantling and remodelling of the semi dilapidated building into a full service public house complete with a kitchen. Keen to not compromise customer space, kitchens, beer cellars, back of house areas and toilet areas were all to be constructed at a high level on concrete floors, which had to be cast on new structural steelwork.
The interior design was sympathetic to the existing structure, and much of the original structure was retained, however, significant amounts of new timbers were required to be specially manufactured to match the existing structure. The organ was partially dismantled and stored while work progressed. Doorways and accesses to the church were limited, and in order to allow steel and concrete to be introduced to the building internally, temporary openings in the stone structure were created. The existing building also required some stabilisation and repairs prior to full construction works commencing. Moulds and samples were taken of existing timber sections, and special runs of new timbers were fabricated specifically for the project. The processes of reinstating stonework, matching timber and creating new stained glass all presented challenges for modern skills, however, Pacific Building were more than happy to rise to the high standards set by the craftsmen who first created the building.
Steeped in the old traditions of construction, the building posed many challenges but the team’s sympathetic approach to interior design retained and enhanced the beauty of the church. The finished product reinforces Pacific Building’s ability to deliver to an exacting standard, regardless of the complexity of the project.