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Arch Design Award 



Interior Design Category


ILKON. Ilkeston Contemporary Arts

Designed by

Chris Williamson RIBA RTPI






Team Members:

ILKON. Ilkeston Contemporary Arts

Cultural Architecture

Ilkeston, Derbyshire

Chris Williamson RIBA RTPI

Chris Williamson

Photo Credits:

Lee Ballard and Chris Terry


Chris Williamson

The project was conceived, designed and funded by Chris Williamson to bring a redundant derelict but beautiful historic local building back to life as a community centre bringing high quality contemporary arts to his home town. Additional insulation without detriment to the historic fabric and new green technologies reduce the energy consumption by 80% and reduce 75% of carbon emissions. State of the Art display lighting and Audio Visual system ensure that the venue can cater for art, sculpture, music, film and performance so bring the creative arts to schools and other groups in a coordinated programme throughout the year. An apartment has been inserted into the space vacated by the organ which was sold by the previous owners. An artist in residence coordinates the ambitious creative programme with the local community to demystify the world of the arts. ILKON is an old english word used by Chaucer in the Second Nun's Tale about the life of St. Cecilia depicted in one of the fabulous original stained glass windows. The approach to the project has been to respect, retain and enhance the best and to sensitively update where necessary. The original innovative natural ventilation system has been refurbished. Openings at low level in the church’s brick fabric are left open at night to cool the building and heat extracted through openable louvres in the ceiling void. The original lighting has been refurbished using LED fittings enhanced with display quality track lighting from Concord Sylvania. The external sculpture garden is lit by igguzinni. The building was designed by John Higginbottom completed in 1936. It has been empty and unloved since 2017 but now bought back to use as a lively arts centre much appreciated by the local community

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