New Parish Centre Fortifed in Burlington stone

Burlington’s high quality Westmorland Green slate roofing is just one of a number of the company’s natural stone products that have been used to help create the Ambleside Parish Centre in its native Cumbria. Specified by architects, Paul Grout Associates of Heversham, Burlington’s walling stone and paving have also been used to help deliver the new centre – a building that shares the same sensitive site as St Mary’s Church in Ambleside and which was designed by eminent Victorian architect, Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Whilst deploying the use of Burlington’s Westmorland Green slate and stone serves to harmonise with the local materials used by Scott to create St Mary’s Church, the new Parish Centre with its curved and fortified forms contrasts with the very angular quality of the Church. As architect, Paul Grout comments: “Whilst the two structures contrast markedly in overall style, they share a commonality in terms of the materials used in their construction and, I hope, sit happily together on the one site.”

Constructed by main contractors Cox & Allen (Kendal) Limited, the external envelope of the Parish Centre has been created using 150 tonnes of Burlington’s Elterwater screened weathered walling stone. Additionally, some 50 tonnes of larger walling/rockery stone has been used for the base courses of the wall. Laid battered (angled back), the larger stones serve to deliver a look of the building’s superstructure having risen out of the ground rather than being connected to it.

The same Burlington material also features as the roof covering of the Parish Centre – the internal structure of which consists of laminated timber pitched beams and joinery in Douglas Fir. The main roof - installed by Cumbria Roofing of Ulverston - is covered in some 500m2 of extra strong grade Westmorland Green slate, 510mm to 305mm long laid in random widths and diminishing courses. An additional 25m2 of the same material has been used for the Centre’s curved roof. Laid in the same manner as the main roof covering, the use of smaller 305mm to 230mm long by random width slates has been deployed here.

Completing the myriad of Burlington materials used for the building is a combination of 40mm thick and 15mm thick external paving between the Centre and the Church, all supplied with a natural riven finish. There is also a flight of curved external steps that echo the overall design adopted for the Centre. Not surprisingly, the step risers are formed using the Elterwater screened walling stone.

Commenting on behalf of Burlington, Joint Managing Director, Malcolm Hatch said: “Ambleside Parish Centre is a perfect example of how our different stone products can be used across one project and to great effect. Whilst architecturally the building has been cleverly designed to be sympathetic with its surroundings, it showcases our materials perfectly.”

The building was given a Civic Trust Award in 2006.

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