The Gold Medal was the gift of King Freidrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia in 1857 who as a passionate and committed patron of architecture was highly impressed with British Victorian church architecture. In appreciation of the help the ICBS (Incorporated Church Building Society) had given the King’s architect in the design of three churches in Prussia and the completion of the Gothic cathedral of Cologne the medal was to be presented by the Society at its own discretion in the name of his Majesty to the architect whose exertions may have been most conducive to its success. Initially the IHBC was reluctant to acknowledge the medal but after a year decided it would award the medal at some point but it was then forgotten about and so it lay unused in an office drawer for over a century.
The Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association is fortunate to have as it’s Patron, Prince Nicholas von Preussen who is a direct descendant of the King of Prussia. Today the medal is awarded annually by a panel of judges comprising Prince Nicholas, HRH The Duke of Gloucester and representatives from the Ecclesiastical Architects & Surveyors Association and the National Churches Trust..
Medal awarded to the architect of a project involving innovative, high quality church conservation or repair that overcomes the greatest aesthetic or technical challenge.
Judging Panel 2017 & 2020;
HRH The Duke of Gloucester
Prince Nicholas Von Preussen
EASA President & Committee Members
Luke March, NCT Chairman & Trustees
Winner of The King of Prussia Gold Medal for Conservation, Alterations and Repairs to former redundant church of St.Mark’s, Woodhouse, Leeds.
The 2017 King of Prussia Gold Medal for church repair & conservation architecture has been won by diocesan architects Richard Crooks Partnership for bringing back to life the historic St Mark’s Church, in Leeds, after extensive interior conservation.
Secretary of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, Lisa McIntyre says, “ Although the building now belongs to Gateway Church (after
being made redundant in 2001), it shows that we have some of the best professionals operating in our diocese and it shows that tired buildings can be revived”.
At the ceremony held at St Mellitus College, London, Prince Nicholas von Preussen presented Richard Crooks Partnership with the King of Prussia Gold Medal, which was a gift of King Frederick William IV of Prussia (1795 – 1861) to the Incorporated Church Building Society in 1857.
The judges said: “The sheer ambition of this whole project as well as the quality of the work was very inspiring. This previously redundant church was brought back into use for worship by Leeds ‘Gateway’, a modern church community of which 75% are students.
“The community purchased St Mark’s in 2010 and has achieved gradual, comprehensive conservation of this large building. It is impressive, and unusual, that this young church community chose to rescue a beautiful badly neglected, historic church, with all the complexity and risk that such a project entails.The result is a testament to the courage and ambition of this community and their team.”
St Mark, Leeds
St Mark’s Church is the last to survive of the three Church Commissioner’s churches built in Leeds. After many years with dwindling numbers of loyal but aging regular worshippers, it was declared redundant in 2001. The church had been on both the English Heritage and Leeds City Council’s Buildings at Risk Registers since early 1990s.
By 2005 the timber ribbed vaulted ceiling in the south aisle was collapsing. Cold damp conditions had also caused the breakdown of the original Victorian glue based wall and ceiling paintings and deposited brown sticky liquid onto walls, floors, fittings and furnishings. Richard Crooks Architects oversaw the re-slating of tower roof and new lead gutter linings; strengthening of tower parapets; removal of stained glass windows to north aisle for repair and removal of wall plaster to west end. In 2013, new floor was constructed with underfloor heating to the worship space and a mezzanine.
Regular worship and administration opened in St Mark’s in March 2014. All facilities are available for use by community groups for meetings, concerts, conferences and other events.
Commendation in the Historic England Angel Awards for Redevelopment of former redundant church of St.Mark’s, Woodhouse, Leeds.
“I was able to visit St. Mark’s the other day in connection with our final payment of grant. Fortunately the church was open, so I was able to look inside. I must say that the building looks absolutely wonderful. It is so good to see it looking so good after it became so dilapidated. Also, the new mezzanine, glazed partition, loos etc are amongst the best I have seen.” G A Proctor MA (Cantab), Dip Arch, AABC
Heritage at Risk Architect, Yorkshire, Historic England
Commendation in the English Heritage Angel Awards for Repairs to former redundant church of St.Mark’s, Woodhouse, Leeds.
Heroic rescue projects like this make an important contribution to local and national history, to the life of the local community and to the vital task of securing England’s rich and varied heritage for present and future generations.
Commendation in Leeds Architecture Awards 2011; Conserved Building Category, for Re-ordering of St.Chad’s Church, Far Headingley, Leeds.
Judge’s comment; “It is pleasing to see a clever, well-articulated series of divisions and transformations to this lofty, voluminous church. The divisions have achieved with great transparency and the minimum of interference with the stone work of the original building fabric. The raised plinth around the altar, together with new joinery items, have been handled with appropriately-detailed craftsmanship.”