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  • Writer's pictureTate Stevenson Architects

Repairs to Mount Merrion Church, Belfast

Scaffolding erected for Restoration

Restoration work has commenced on the listed B1 Mount Merrion Church of Ireland which sits adjacent to the Kingspan Rugby Stadium in Belfast.

Tate Stevenson Architects were commissioned by the client to oversee specialist timber repairs to the laminated timber portal frame that supports the church roof.

This attractive and unique church was built in 1963, the architect being Dennis O’Donaghue Hanna, a recognised church architect of his day, the building was listed due to the unusual and impressive roof structure supported on glulam portals, some of which are exposed to the elements and the large expanses of glass.

Extensive deterioration of the exposed timber portal frames due to water ingress threatened the stability of the roof structure and overall buildings. After extensive investigation and research by Tate Stevenson Architects, in conjunction with Exova (formerly T.R.A.D.A) and Stronghold Preservation, a system of repairs was developed to reinstate the glulam portals and their structural integrity.

This involved detailing of the repairs and propping of the existing structure whilst sections of defective timber are removed and replaced with new laminated timber to match the existing. Various other techniques have been developed to prevent delamination of the timber frames and prevent further ingress of water.

Noel Savage Construction has been appointed as main contractor to carry out the works within a three month period.

The church rector Rev Adrian Green said he was delighted to see the work commencing after a prolonged period of fund raising and grant applications, the project has received funding from the Listed Placed of Worship Fund, National Churches Trust, Marshall Beresford Fund and the church congregation, who have been very supportive. He also recognised Tate Stevenson Architects for their professionalism and assistance throughout the initial stages of the funding process, detailing of the works and now to overseeing the project through completion.

Throughout the works the church will remain open as normal to continue its vital work within the local community to build a better future for everyone.

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