Heritage London & South East

Award-winning Prittlewell Chapel is now complete

Prittlewell Chapel

Beardwell Construction Ltd has scooped a major award for its work on the Prittlewell Chapel development in Southend-on-Sea.

After carefully renovating the ruined chapel, Beardwell Construction Ltd was awarded the title of Heritage Project of the Year 2011 at the National Federation of Builders Annual Awards 2012.

The company was commissioned by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to undertake the £982,000 government-funded project. As a result of their work, the 130-year old building has been lovingly restored after years of suffering the effects of bad weather, vandalism and graffiti. Works included the reinstatement of the original roof slates and the restoration of the original Whitechapel Bell, which dates back to 1880.

Prittlewell Chapel

The building will now be let on a 20-year lease to Southend Association Voluntary Services (SAVS), who will hire the two offices out for use by social enterprises and local voluntary organisations.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Planning, Councillor Jonathan Garston, commented:

“Congratulations to Beardwell Construction Ltd for winning such a major national award. The company has respectfully transformed and regenerated the historic Prittlewell Chapel into an energy efficient building which looks to the past and the future at the same time.

“The Council has also recognised the excellent achievements of Beardwell Construction’s work at Prittlewell Chapel by giving the company a Conservation Award in our 2011 design awards. When we carried out the judging process for these awards, we were extremely impressed by this project.”

Prittlewell Chapel

The building now boasts the very latest in energy efficient technology, including photovoltaic cells, rainwater harvesting and an air source heat pump that is connected to the underfloor heating. Build with CaRe (Carbon Reduction), the forum for promoting energy saving buildings, filmed the progress of the project in order to enable the sustainable techniques used to be shared with others.

Alex Larn, Commercial Director of Beardwell Construction, said:

“We are proud to have been entrusted with the delivery of this prestigious project. Delivered on time and on budget, we are delighted to say that it was a complete success in every respect.

Prittlewell Chapel

“It has brought back to life a building that had stood decaying for 60 years. It has done so using sustainable building materials and renewable energy sources. It is a carbon neutral building, and energy costs have to all intents been eliminated. It is very satisfying to see the building being put to such excellent use.”

Prittlewell Chapel

Ion Glass

Ion Glass is a leading supplier of wholly bespoke architectural and decorative glassworks across the UK. The company is rapidly gaining an enviable reputation as specialists in complex heritage and ecclesiastical projects, where contemporary glass fits perfectly in ancient buildings without obscuring the intrinsic beauty of the original architecture.

Ion Glass worked closely with the main contractor Beardwell Construction to install various back-painted glass surfaces to Prittlewell Chapel, achieving a stylish, colourful and low maintenance finish to many areas within the building, including the reception areas, kitchens and meeting rooms.

Other heritage projects have included extensive bespoke glass for a new ringing chamber in an old church, involving an arched glass screen that provided acoustic protection whilst letting light flow into the church via a magnificent stained glass window. The project also involved a frameless glass balustrade – one of the keynote skills of Ion Glass who provide bespoke balustrading to meet a wide range of requirements in both ancient and modern buildings.

The company has also worked with the Tower of London installing grandiose glass doors to the recently refurbished Fusiliers Museum as well as a set of circular glass rooflights to the Devereux Tower.

Peter Hazeldean, Ion Glass, said:

“Ion provides a wholly bespoke service working alongside clients and heritage organisations throughout the process, offering technical advice where needed and full templating to ensure the finished glass fits perfectly. Our glass works equally well in interior and exterior environments.”


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