St Mary at the Quay

Structural Glass Meeting Room


St Mary at the Quay, Ipswich. A mediaeval church underwent significant restoration to convert it into a heritage and wellness centre. Ion Glass worked on behalf of Bakers of Danbury and Molyneux Kerr Architects.


Commendation Award Winner 2018 – Award Contributor


RICS Building Conservation Award Winner 2017 – Award Contributor


Structural glass screen fitted with a secure glass door; bespoke fixed glass screen using steel mullions; glass panel infills to fit into the original stone arches; acoustic glazing;


St Mary at the Quay is a Grade II mediaeval church close to the waterfront at Ipswich. The building was recently fully restored and renovated by Suffolk Mind and the Churches Conservation Trust to create a heritage and wellbeing centre providing a space for mental wellbeing, combined with a venue that could be hired out for meetings and events.

A number of private meeting rooms and spaces were created as part of the project to provide rooms that can be individually hired or used for counselling, training or as studios for body and mind class activities.

Building a mezzanine floor to make better use of the lofty church ceiling opened up additional space, offering an unhindered view of the nave for people using the meeting rooms and ensuring that the atmosphere and architecture of the building was retained.

Ion Glass were commissioned to provide structural glass to both mezzanine floor meeting rooms in this complex bespoke glass project. The glass screens, glass panels and glass partitions required a precision fit into the original stone arches to ensure a result that was both functional and sympathetic to the original architecture.

Technical Information

The larger glass meeting room on the mezzanine involved mullioned glass screens in 13.5mm laminated toughened glass, fitted across the width of two of the original stone arches.

Ten panels were produced to create a floor to ceiling glass partition behind the arches, fitted into bespoke steel mullions which were individually manufactured by Ion Glass, ensuring full structural integrity and compliance. The partition provides a view of the nave whilst creating an enclosed and private space.

A single glass partition was installed across the mezzanine floor to separate the room from the external, open meeting space outside. Built in multiple panels with a fully frameless glass entrance door the glass screen is manufactured from 12mm toughened safety glass.

At the far end of the new room, the mezzanine floor meets the top of the stone arch overlooking the South Chapel. A glass infill comprising of three glass panels was fitted to the top of the arch to fully enclose the space. Each glass panel was individually templated to ensure an accurate fit into the repaired stone arch.

Acoustic glazing in 18.28 mm laminated toughened acoustic safety glass was fitted to arched external windows to protect the original stained glass and reduce the impact of traffic noise. Deceptively simple the installation required bespoke brackets individually manufactured to fit the exact profile of the stone throughout the window, accommodating the changing angles of the reveal.

The second meeting room on the mezzanine comprises of a single glazed glass screen in 12mm thick toughened float safety glass, installed across one of the stone arches to create a small meeting room in the bell tower. The glass screen is fitted into bespoke steel mullions in keeping with the style of the larger meeting room.

Fully frameless, the single pivot glass door is hinged top and bottom with pivot patches, utilising a Uniqua hydraulic closing mechanism concealed within the bottom fitting to avoid cutting into the floor.

  • Initial response to the new glass meeting rooms at St Mary’s at the Quay has been exceptionally positive. Staff working in the newly opened venue commented in particular about how the acoustic glass effectively negated the noise impact of the busy road adjacent to the church whilst still enjoying the natural light through the original arched glass windows.

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