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How We Built Britain
Extension on Meole Brace Church
How We Built Britain: Ancient inspiration for modern design
By Doug Saltmarsh
The extension to Meole Brace Church on the outskirts of Shrewsbury demonstrates that a design sensitive to the original structure needn't cost the earth.
Fusing the ancient with the modern - Britain's architectural heritage still provides a powerful influence on 21st Century design. But one issue that didn't trouble medieval builders is environmental impact. Sustainable development is often high on the priority list for modern designers. But sustainability can take many forms.
Local architects Arrol & Snell specialise in historic buildings and conservation building projects. They were selected to extend Meole Brace Church on the outskirts of Shrewsbury - to come up a design that was sensitive to the existing building as well as environmentally responsible.
Company Director Andrew Arrol explained that sustainable development needn't demand revolutionary techniques: "We've always tried to recycle materials, to repair buildings... It's not being wasteful, not throwing things away, moving away from the consumer society, that's where I think we should be going."
And the company believe that environmentally sensitive construction needn't be at the expense of craftsmanship or even materials. Architect James Wade explained: "If you design a building to last for a long time you can justify quite a lot of energy to make those materials... if you design a building to last 200/300 years and then you can reuse the bricks at the end of that, then you're not doing too badly."
last updated: 20/07/07