St Michael's Church
The supply and installation of a frameless glass screen and lobby, with double frameless glass doors to create a welcoming, draught-free entrance to the church of St Michael in Lewes.
Ion Glass in conjunction with Mackellar Schwerdt Architects
A frameless structural glass lobby with full height frameless glass doors, a glass ceiling and glass side panels. Constructed using concealed stainless steel channels and minimal visible fixings, the glass door pivots directly off the ceiling panel.
The Church of St Michael in Lewes has been a place of worship for over 800 years and is the only remaining church within the walls of this ancient county town.
Dating back to around 1200 the church has seen various improvements and modernisations over the centuries, including the beautiful stained glass windows which were added in the 1880’s and the sculpture of St Michael the Archangel which was installed in 1976.
The most recent improvement, a structural glass entrance lobby, was designed to create a welcoming draught-free entrance, whilst ensuring that visitors to the church have an unimpeded view of the nave when they first enter the church. The use of structural glass to create the lobby offers minimal impact or disruption to the original architecture.
The frameless glass entrance lobby comprises of two sidelights on either side of the double glass doors, a side panel in frameless glass fixed to the original stone pillar and a glass ceiling.
Ion Glass devised a fixing mechanism to allow the glass doors to pivot directly from the glass panel that forms the ceiling. The doors are pinch free, mounted on floor springs and can be securely locked, allowing the outer door to stay open so visitors can see inside the church whilst maintaining full security. Crescent shaped pull handles were fitted to both doors.
Accurate digital measurements ensure the glass side panel fits perfectly around the corbels to the top and bottom of the stone pillar.
The glass is fixed using stainless steel channels set into the walls and floor: these were bespoke manufactured to accommodate subtle changes in levels, providing a deceptively simple, fully frameless result. Minimal stainless steel brackets were used to connect the ceiling to the fixed front panels.
The new structural glass lobby provides a functional and contemporary entrance with minimal impact to the fabric of this ancient church.