Scots Church

McCauley Daye O’Connell Architects were appointed to design the expansion of the VHI’s headquarters in Abbey Street into the adjacent disused Presbyterian Scots Church (1869) which is a protected structure. 

The key concept and challenges of the dynamic design were to respect and preserve all of the significant cultural, religious, historical and architectural heritage of the church and its ancillary buildings whilst meeting the client’s requirements for a new innovative, state-of-the-art , sustainable office extension that would fully integrate with the existing office headquarters, re-branding the building and creating a new iconic building with a sense of identity and place.

The new design transforms the inside of the existing church into a new dramatic public entrance foyer for the VHI Headquarters and also provides new office floors suspended above the existing original parish church, all contained within a contemporary triangular exo-skeleton lattice design which provides the external structure, creating a building which is light and transparent and contrasts and compliments the original gothic church design.

The design of the building uses the best conservation practice and will be very sustainable achieving a very high Breeam rating through a design which incorporates a mix of highly insulated opaque and glass facade panels, natural ventilation through the perforated facade panels, good natural lighting, fully integrated solar panels in the roof system and rainwater harvesting.