Award wins includes work on historic St Edmunds Church, Southwold

the team at Ipswich-based Nicholas Jacob Architects

the team at Ipswich-based Nicholas Jacob Architects - Credit: NJ Architects

Double RIBA award win for Ipswich-based Nicholas Jacob Architects

An Ipswich-based firm of architects have won two awards celebrating excellence in their sector.

Nicholas Jacob Architects won the category for Individual Trade for its work for its work on Aldehurst, Aldeburgh and the Restoration category for St Edmunds Church in Southwold at the RIBA Suffolk Craftsmanship Awards 2018.

The latter focused on giving the church greater flexibility enabling them to better integrate with the wider community and involved creating extensive amenities including accessible toilets and a kitchen area, more space for children’s activities, an exhibition area for tourists, better storage facilities and improvements to the heating system.

Nicholas Jacob, partner at Nicholas Jacob Architects, managed the project from inception to completion with the support of James Francis, senior architect who was involved in the detailed design stage and Pippa Jacob, the architect for the construction stage.

Nicholas Jacob said: “For many of us, our local church is the most prominent building in our village or town but despite a visual prominence, many of these buildings are neglected, under-used and increasingly marginalised.

“The sad but simple truth is that many churches are no longer financially viable as they currently stand. If a church is to thrive it needs to secure new sources of revenue and redefine itself beyond that as an ecclesiastical space. This almost invariably means re-ordering the building but to do this successful it should be done sensitively and with an understanding of the importance and historical significance of the building. Here we developed a solution that protected the fabric and integrity of the building and enabled it to be accessible.”

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He added: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won these two awards.

“We were up against some very tough competition and to have our work earmarked for excellence is a real source of pride for the whole team.”

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