MAINE MEDICAL PRACTICE, ahoghill
Dr Johnston of Maine Medical Practice, with Practices at Cullybackey and Ahoghill and his partners at Ahoghill had been searching for new premises for a modern Medical Centre for the local community.
The existing Medical Centre for the Ahoghill community was a previous converted Police Station with a backlog of statutory and physical standards which needed substantial investment, but fundamentally the premises were 3 storeys with the layout unfit for a modern health care facility.
Having previously completed Maine Medical Practice, Cullybackey, on a previously demolished Mill, overlooking the River Maine, Dr David Johnston & his partners were impressed with the design and finished building. Dr Johnston approached myself as to the possibility of Conversion of the vacant First Ahoghill Presbyterian Church to a Medical Centre, which had become vacant since September 2013 with the construction of the new First Ahoghill Presbyterian Church on the Galgorm Road.
The existing Church, was a Grade “B” Listed building, dating back to 1857, but had so many inappropriate latter extensions of the 1950’s and 1970’s.
First Ahoghill Presbyterian Church converted into Maine Medical Practice, Ahoghill
I was enthusiastic about this proposal as I could visualise how it could be converted, working along with Dr Johnston who equally has the enthusiasm and experience in saving our historical buildings to bring them back to life and to preserve them for future generations, rather than them being derelict and vandalised.
The key to this project was to retain the historical features, while ensuring modern statutory requirements and those required for a modern 21st century Health Centre.
I was able to meet the needs of the Medical Practice, while still preserving the original 1857 Church façade and historical internal features, and during the demolition of the inappropriate buildings, many mile stones of the Church history, previously covered by the latter extensions, were uncovered and now form focal points within the interior where the history and many stain glass memorials and gifts from the local community now blend with the interior contemporary design.
On entering the Medical Centre, the original Church Vestibule is retained and restored with historical memorabilia while on entering the previous main Church and first floor gallery, this has been converted to meet a modern Medical Centre with special designs of “Accommodation Pods” and the gallery enhanced with a contemporary glass surround, while opening up to the original Church “Queen post truss” roof structure.
The building has now become part of the European Heritage Open Day, while still providing modern day health care service to the community.