B12 Urban Village Hall

Creating an accessible community space for Balsall Heath

Saints John & Martin Roman Catholic Parish of Balsall Heath
Balsall Heath, Birmingham
Year Completed
RIBA Work Stage
  • Project Lead
  • Architect
  • Principal Designer
  • Contract Administrator
APEC returned to the SS John and Monica and Anawim site to upgrade the former school assembly hall into a more environmentally friendly space for the wider community.

In 2012, APEC carried out engagement with SS John and Martin parishioners and the wider community and discovered that there was a strong need for a community facility in Balsall Heath. The church embarked on fundraising and by 2019 were ready to make changes to their hall for use by the wider community.

The hall was not accessible to people using pushchairs or wheelchairs. To improve this, we introduced a new level entrance and a platform lift to the stage. We brought the hall up to standard for the community with a commercial catering kitchen, integrated AV equipment, and new toilet facilities. We refurbished the existing parquet floor, and introduced hardwood stairs and doors to improve the quality of the space.


We wanted to improve the thermal performance of the building where we could, so we introduced new double glazing, and roof insulation. The church wanted to increase the building’s presence and create a sense of arrival so we proposed to introduce cladding to the entrance with a canopy, which enabled us to also introduce insulation to this area.

Can I take this opportunity to say how pleased I have been with the relationships during the contract and preceding. APEC and Jericho have been superb, and Mary is an absolute gem and thoroughly professional... Many, many thanks for your conscientious and sympathetic help over the last two years.

George GallagherClient