CDMS Architects was appointed by the visual arts organisation Fabrica to design an extension to their headquarters and gallery, housed within a Grade II Listed former church in the heart of Brighton. Fabrica required more office and administration space within the building whilst maintaining the primary spaces of the nave and chancel as exhibition space.
The design proposed a contemporary three storey extension to the building on a tight rear corner of the site. The extension provides two new storeys of office accommodation, and a utility area located below ground. The design also resolves current accessibility issues, whilst providing vital office space for the organisation.
The design consists of a sculpted cube clad in grey cement board panels that rises above an un-knapped flint wall. This contemporary aesthetic provides a clear contrast with the older parts of the building, whilst maximising usable area on an incredibly tight site. Slot glazing and roof lights provide natural light and ventilation to the proposal, whilst balancing the heavy mass of the cladding panels.
In addition to the extension, existing timber loading doors were replaced with a large pivot shopfront window improving the visibility and on street presence of the gallery.
Only visible from a private goods yard behind the building, the extension is design as a hidden jewel. Sensitive to its relationship with the existing building, the proposal provides long term economic viability for this important arts institution.