Salvation Army centre marches into 21st Century with Aliva

An 18th century Salvation Army conference centre is marching into the 21st century with a brand new façade from Aliva UK to complement its Grade II listed heritage.

Maber Architects asked Aliva, the UK leader in façades and interior finishes, to supply 900sqm of dark brown Grescovering terracotta rainscreen cladding that would match the original brickwork on the building, which dates back to 1723.

Sunbury Court has been the setting for some of the Salvation Army’s most important events, including the election of its General. The new extension houses accommodation for those attending conferences at the centre.

Before the Salvation Army moved in, the privately-owned Sunbury estate sprawled over more 100 acres down to the banks of the Thames. In its heyday it required more than 40 staff from cooks to coachmen and gardeners to ensure its smooth running.

Aliva Managing Director James Ormerod said: “We were delighted to be asked to work on such a beautiful and historic building. Planning regulations specified terracotta, so we used our skills to make it as sympathetic to the Grade II listed building as we could.”

Ben Slipper from Maber Architects said: ““It was essential to the scheme’s success that the contemporary addition found a context among the existing historic buildings. The terracotta façade tile was suggest as the link between the old and new and Aliva UK’s assistance in specifying, detailing and matching colours was invaluable.”

Aliva’s Grescovering cladding is a popular choice for architects looking for a durable cost-effective and eco-friendly finish. Besides being made from natural materials, terracotta has a minimal negative impact on the environment during manufacture.