St Clements has commissioned Ion Glass to provide internal meeting rooms for a variety of purposes from a permanent and accessible base for the parish office to craft fairs, exhibitions and festivals. The space above the meeting rooms forms a mezzanine platform, surrounded by a stunning glass balustrade and accessed by a glass clad staircase, maximising the capacity of the church.
The new installation also includes a bell-ringing platform, accessed by a spiral staircase and also encircled by a frameless structural glass balustrade. The installation has been designed using modern materials and frameless glazing to maximise light flow without obscuring the 14th century architecture.
A glass balustrade runs smoothly around the new mezzanine area precisely engineered to fit flawlessly around the ancient stone arches and meeting the angles of the staircase to give a finish that is both functional and visually perfect. The balustrade has been installed using Ions own channel set base fixed glazing system concealed within the floor for minimal visual intrusion.
The upper level is accessed by a glass clad staircase. The structural glass balustrade on the staircase is bolted into position with load bearing decorative stainless steel bolt fixings, adding a stylish and contemporary finish. The whole installation is finished with a bespoke European Oak handrail that fits seamlessly all around the upper level and down the staircase.
The glass had to be hoisted onto the platform using a counterbalanced genie lift, which was small enough to use inside the church without damaging the fabric of the building but nevertheless big enough to take the load of the heavy weight structural glass. -Yvonne Hardman, Church Warden for the parish, said "Its a very contemporary addition but its brought the church firmly into modern usage".