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West End Hall is a popular community facility located in the midst of a residential area of on the western fringe of Sherborne. The facility which originally comprised the hall and ancillary facilities was built in the 1970s using a timber framed construction technique. Original photographs show a modern building with clean lines and large glazed infill panels which must have provided a high level of daylight to the hall. This original structure is now obscured by subsequent brick built extensions which have been added piecemeal on all sides in an adhoc manner and this has resulted in a generally unattractive and incoherent appearance. Nevertheless these extensions expanded the hall and provide additional facilities such a lounge bar, catering facilities, dining area and a skittle alley. The hall is home to a playschool and is hired out for activities such as short mat bowls, dancing and worship and the hall is also popular venue for wedding and birthday parties.

The popularity of the hall has served to highlight to the Hall committee the inadequacy of the existing sanitary and catering accommodation which is in urgent need of replacement if the hall is to continue to serve as the hub for the community.

Oriel Architecture were appointed as the architect to address these issues and a scheme has been developed to replace the existing dilapidated front part of the building with a new extension which will provide modern sanitary accommodation including a disabled and staff facility. The extension will also house a new kitchen and a spacious meeting room. The extension also offers the opportunity to create a new entrance and efficient circulation space for staff and users.

As well as meeting the functional demands of the brief Oriel Architecture saw the project as an opportunity to produce a design which signals the presence of the Hall and acts as a cohesive device to deal with the fragmented and cluttered nature of the existing building.

The new design is rectilinear in form and has a gabled roof stretching across the entire frontage of the existing building and in so doing forms a dominant and cohesive feature signaling the presence of the hall. The new entrance is clearly legible and a meeting room with large windows located prominently alongside the newly landscaped car park adds to this transparency and provides a welcoming frontage. The sloping ceiling and large rooflights will create light and airy accommodation particularly within the meeting room which will be suitable for a variety of activities.

Quantity Surveyor – Mike Priddle

Structural Engineer –  Brody Forbes Ltd

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