Salvation Army Church Wins Building of the Year Award

LONDON – A Salvation Army church in Chelmsford was named Building of the Year at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) East Spirit of Ingenuity Awards.

The dramatic church features a cross-laminated timber panel system with an undulating zinc roof and a distinctive rectangular tower that changes color according to the light.

Designed by Hudson Architects, the new building is a significant revamp for The Salvation Army's mission in Chelmsford, which has been on Baddow Road since 1974.

The community and worship hall was also chosen on Friday among 18 finalists as the winner of the Community Architecture Award for projects that demonstrate value and benefit to the community.

The Chairman of RIBA East, Richard Tavener, praised the "very simple, well executed and dramatic" building.

"The clear articulations of the plan and hands-on-clients have created a building that reflects and responds to their mission for worship and community outreach activities," he said.

The Chelmsford Salvation Army built the new hall with use by the whole community in mind. In addition to its 320-seater worship hall, it also features a reception café, indoor sports hall, outdoor play area, lounge and kitchen.

Enid Watson, the newly appointed Center coordinator at Chelmsford Salvation Army said, "The building has been the topic of conversation in Chelmsford since its opening. However the people who drop in for a coffee out of curiosity are overwhelmed by the interior and the warmth of the fellowship and friendship we aim to offer."

"The investment by The Salvation Army in our building has already proved to be a wonderful asset to our ministry as a people-focused and family-friendly church," Watson added.

"We have been truly blessed."

RIBA Awards are given for buildings that have high architectural standards and make a substantial contribution to the local environment.