St Mary at the Quay

Glass Balustrading


St Mary at the Quay, Ipswich. This mediaeval church close to the waterfront in Ipswich was restored and converted into a heritage and wellness centre. Ion Glass were commissioned by Bakers of Danbury.


Commendation Award Winner 2018 – Award Contributor


RICS Building Conservation Award Winner 2017 – Award Contributor


Glass balustrades; glass balustrading to stairs; bespoke handrails to the staircase and the glass balustrades on the mezzanine floor


A Grade II mediaeval church, St Mary at the Quay in the heart of Ipswich had been disused for many years and had fallen into disrepair. The building was fully restored and renovated by Suffolk Mind and the Churches Conservation Trust to create a heritage and wellbeing centre: primarily a space for mental wellbeing restored church now doubles as a venue that can be hired out for meetings and events.

Architects Molyneux Kerr made excellent use of the height of the building with the creation of a mezzanine floor to accommodate additional meeting rooms and open spaces on the upper level. A new extension was also added to the original building to provide consulting and therapy rooms.

Ion Glass were commissioned to provide the glass balustrades to the mezzanine floor, combined with the glass balustrading to the access stairs. Ion also supplied glass balustrade panels to the separate stairs leading to the new extension.

Technical Information

The long sweep of glass balustrading across the front of the mezzanine floor consists of a series of 15mm toughened glass panels secured using a bolted PFC channel fixed to the to the edge of the steel floor structure, maintaining the industrial look specified by the client. Use of a bespoke structural aluminium handrail (manufactured and powder coated to order by Ion Glass) determined the thickness of the glass panels to ensure compliance.

The glass balustrades on both sides of the staircase were fully templated to ensure a flawless result. The bespoke hand rail return on the staircase was machined by Ion Glass from a solid aluminium billet to create a stylish and functional result.

Glass balustrades to the new wing were fixed using bespoke brushed stainless steel clamping plates, also manufactured by Ion Glass. The balustrade was finished with the same custom-made aluminium handrail manufactured to extend around the turn of the stairs and along the wall for full functionality in use.

  • The restored building was ne-named Quay Place and was opened in November 2016 to much acclaim from the local community. Use of glass balustrading around the mezzanine floor ensures an uninterrupted view of the nave from the new meeting rooms and no interruption to light flow to the ground floor.

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