Gold medal awarded to St Mary Magdalene’s conservation project
The redevelopment project at St Mary Magdalene’s church in Paddington has won a national architectural award: the 2018 King of Prussia Gold Medal, awarded for innovative, high quality church conservation or repair work projects.
The award goes to Caroe Architecture Ltd for their work to bring back to life the architectural and decorative quality of this Gothic Revival masterpiece by the great Victorian architect G E Street; which combines architecture, sculpture, stained glass, and arguably the most remarkable painted ceiling in an English parish church.
A vital component of this work was the conservation cleaning of fine decorative painted ceilings in the Nave and Chancel, which were executed by a leading ecclesiastical artist of the day, Daniel Bell. The process involved in-depth trials and analysis to establish conservation techniques to carefully remove dirt and discoloured varnishes, which until recently disfigured and obscured these ceilings.
Past cleaning attempts had been very damaging, with some decorative features scoured harmfully. The treatment of the ceilings involved finding a careful balance between all cleaned surfaces in the Nave and Chancel, to appropriately highlight and accent the unique decorative features and key liturgical scenes, while creating visual harmony and balance of the whole.
creating a space