Morgan Sindall Construction’s London business completed a £9.2 million restoration project at Camden Methodist Church, as hospitality group The Wesley opened London’s newest boutique hotel on New Year’s Eve 2022.
Built in the 1800s, it has undergone historic restoration and refurbishment works, to bring it up to high-performance specification.
Located on Plender Street, the lower ground floor of the building will continue to be used as a church and worship space. Complex construction and remodelling have taken place to preserve the historic church’s façade whilst also securing the buildings long-term future.
The building’s upper floors are home to the new luxury 38-room hotel designed by Manalo & White design architects, spanning across the ground to fourth floors and have been sensitively remodelled to retain the church’s historic character.
Before the demolition works could begin, all heritage items were carefully stripped out of the building and put into a safe storage facility. Items, such as the original stained-glass windows, were taken out of the building and turned into display units.
A brand-new high-performance steel frame structure was erected off pad foundations within the existing external walls forming the ground floor with four upper floors and roof structure. A brick and stone façade completed the remodelling works, using the original reclaimed brick and stonework.
The façade has new high-performance aluminium windows set in the existing openings by specialist heritage window manufacturers, JPJ.
Richard Dobson, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction in London, said: “Being a local team based in London, we understood the cultural and historical importance of the Camden Methodist Church, and are delighted to be working with The Wesley in giving new life to secure the long-term future of this historic building.
“Our team is experienced in working on historic buildings within the capital, with Camden Methodist Church being no exception. The finished project is a combination of heritage, contemporary design and the latest specifications. It is a truly special development that we look forward to seeing blossom in the heart of Camden.”
Camden Methodist Church now features an upgraded worship space and a brand-new kitchen. The state-of-the-art facilities feature one accessible room and five ambulant accessible rooms located in the basement. All levels of the building are served by a lift.
Finished work from Morgan Sindall also features high acoustic ratings to minimise transfer of sound between the hotel and the church. A high-performing acoustic ceiling is installed in the lower ground floor worship space.
As part of Morgan Sindall’s Intelligent Solution’s approach, the team has struck a balance between respecting the building’s former heritage whilst also providing a valuable community space. The London business also engaged the local community throughout the project, making a £2,150 charity donation and involving 297 pupils in STEM projects.
Through the installation of a new air source heating system in the building, it is set to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating, in line with the environmental standards The Wesley strives to achieve. Also, Morgan Sindall has recorded a 75% carbon reduction and 98% of waste has been diverted from landfill.
James Barr, general manager of The Wesley hotel, said: “We’re delighted to open the doors to The Wesley Camden Town, as London’s newest boutique hotel. The hotel has perfectly complemented the vibrancy of the neighbourhood and builds on the ethical credentials established over the years at The Wesley London Euston.
“Morgan Sindall and the entire project team have delivered a hotel that has surpassed our expectations in terms of accessibility, quality, and preservation. At every stage, we have worked collaboratively to provide the thriving community of Camden with a brand-new, luxury hotel, that pays homage to its rich heritage.”
James Paterson, Senior Project Manager at Faithful + Gould, said: “Revitalising an existing, culturally-significant building and breathing new life in a new, innovative way is not something you get to work on every day. We have delivered a fabric-first approach to bring the Camden Methodist Church up to the latest sustainability standards.
“It has been great to work closely with The Wesley and Morgan Sindall, who both hold ethical standards aligned with our own and deliver a brand-new luxury hotel, whilst also maintaining the important role the church plays to the local community.”