The Salvation Army, Southport

Project Type: Community and Worship

Built on a brownfield site adjacent their previous worship hall [now charity shop], this scheme unifies all the constituent elements of the Corps activities into a holistic complex. This is the first purpose built church in Southport for over a century.

The entrance to the building is a new public square, a space offered back as relief to the hardness of Shakespeare Street. A typical, mixed use, edge-of-town street, the new ‘square’ provides much-needed softening, civil character and unity.

The building is intentionally fluid. Arranged around a curved spine wall, are four general purpose spaces, reception area, café, worship hall, prayer room, offices for the Corps Officers and staff, and ancillary accommodation. Externally there is also a secure roof garden, parking, and a private rear courtyard garden. Arranged to work alongside the original hall, the building has its massing routed in the traditional gable form, but two curved walls enfold the ground floor, removing the traditional axial symmetry. Materiality has similarly taken its cue from the original hall [brickwork / render / glass] so that the buildings read together onto the public realm of Shakespeare Street. The new building is however clearly defined by its detailing which provides a contemporary twist.