DK-Architects completes community hall outside Chester

The hall is a new hub supported by local and national funders including the National Lottery, FCC and Sports England with direct financial support and commitments from the local community.

It replaces a previous village hall housed within a postwar HORSA Hut, constructed in the 1950s as a ‘temporary’ building. Additional rooms had been added by the community over the intervening 70 years to meet a growing programme of changing needs.

With further adaption of the original structure not possible, it was decided to build a new hall, with DK-Architects appointed after winning a competition for the scheme.


The new building is seen as a catalyst for a wider community project across the five villages, offering a venue in which to meet, socialise, be educated and take part in a variety of activities.

It has flexible community spaces which can be opened out into the surrounding landscaped areas – as well as broadening a range of services and facilities available in the area for the local community.

The simple brick scheme is clad in black profiled metal with windows finished in yellow.

Architect’s view

The Five Villages Hall, located between five semi-rural villages within the greenbelt surrounding Chester, provides flexible space and opportunity for members of the community to come together.

The form of the building was conceived as two volumes, Tall Hall and small hall. Tall Hall accommodates sporting activities and large events while small hall plays a supporting role, providing functional spaces such as a bar, kitchen, toilets and foyer, alongside a smaller activity space.

Central to the two main spaces is a raised area (stage), which can open out to both the Tall Hall and to the small hall activity space, providing additional flexibility to both those spaces and allowing the two volumes to be opened up simultaneously to create a much larger space when required.

The simple pitched roof forms and pared-back materiality provide a strong architectural identity, echoing the site’s rural context while creating open, light-filled spaces that meet a diverse range of functions and uses.

DK-Architects worked closely with a small, dedicated team of volunteers from the committee of the previous village hall throughout the conception, development and delivery of the project. The community focus on the development nurtured a positive working relationship between all those involved.
John Fielding, associate, DK-Architects


Client’s view

The committee had long aimed to provide new and updated facilities to encourage new users and services with the aim of strengthening our community.

After several years of effort, we were awarded a funding opportunity from The National Lottery’s Reaching Communities Building Fund. This award helped us leverage additional funding from other national and local charities including Sport England and FCC Community Action Fund (landfill communities fund). Funding was further boosted by contributions from both the local community and the hall’s activity providers (SMEs). Residents of the five villages, having agreed an increase to their parish precept, enabled a loan from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) via the parish councils.

We are delighted with our new hall. Obviously, it is a wonderful building but importantly it’s a catalyst for the community, close and nearby, to engage in social, educational, sporting, cultural and group activities and events.

The building offers users light, bright, modern facilities to host many diverse events and activities.

The new hall has acted as a springboard, and our project continues as we aim to develop further our spaces, providing opportunities to meet the needs and aspirations of our community, young and old.
Stephen Thackray, committee member, The Five Villages Hall


Project data

Start on site January 2021
Completion date October 2021
Gross internal floor area 375.5m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area Site area 0.72ha
Form of contract or procurement route JCT Design and Build
Construction cost £931,108
Construction cost per m2 £2,483
Architect DK-Architects
Client Mollington, Backford & District Village hall
Structural engineer Alan Johnston Partnership
M&E consultant Steven A Hunt Associates
Employers agent Markhams
Project manager The Five Villages Hall Project Team
Principal designer Markhams
Approved building inspector Cheshire West & Chester Council Building Consultancy Services
Main contractor MPH Construction
CAD software used Vectorworks

Environmental performance data

Percentage of floor area with daylight factor >2% 68%
Percentage of floor area with daylight factor >5% 51%
On-site energy generation None
Annual mains water consumption Not calculated
Airtightness at 50Pa 4.13 m3/h.m2
Heating and hot water load Unknown
Overall area-weighted U-value 0.25 W/m2K
Design life 50 years
Embodied / whole-life carbon Not calculated
Annual CO2 emissions Not calculated


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