Friday, 23 May 2008

Sunday School wins Town Pride award

The Emmanuel Church Sunday School on Addington Square is pictured in last week's Adscene. The article states that it is referred to as "an accomplished conversion" and further "This property could easily have been pulled down and a block of flats put in its place".

There seems to be an assumption that if a building is merely converted into flats that it is somehow worthy of an award and that permission would have been granted for it to be demolished.

Why would a building like this have been earmarked for demolition?

It resides in a designated Conservation Area and the criteria for permission to demolish are pretty clear. Demolition would only be permitted if what replaces it would add or enhance the Conservation Area. The loss of a historical building of this nature would have been a pretty high cost when the area is already full to overflowing with converted flats.

Here's how the building looked before renovation:

The not substantial building now houses three flats with the new upper floors cutting across the windows. Personally, I'm unsure why this is referred to as an accomplished conversion.


  1. This beautiful building had the potential to be a stunning conversion. Using its architectural assets as consideration of the design seems completely obvious, but alas it seems to have been ignored.

    Any one can see who walks past, that the developers have thoughtlessly created a floor behind and in the middle of a window and not even finished the wood off.

    Typical of a "get as many in as possible, dont matter - that'l do" attitude that ensures that the countless flat conversions that litter Margate are aesthetically and architecturally unsound.

    The sunday school conversion shows little pride and attention to detail from the developer, so why should we champion and celebrate that?!

  2. The conversion is insensitive, making no use of the beautiful high ceilings and tall gothic windows that characterised Sunday School.

    The new internal floor cuts across the windows in a very unthoughtful way. The central gothic window above the door now reveals the back of a wardrobe.

    Inside, what was once a really unique space has been transformed into a series of magnolia boxes.

    In the scheme there is a lack of vision for what the building could have become and what Margate could be.

    Is it absurd to prize someone for not demolishing a historic landmark building in a conservation area. The developer has just crammed as many flats in as possible, having to respect the external features because the building is of historic and cultural interest in aconservation area.

    Not a prize winner in my opinion.