A place for all
As a place of worship, the new church is somewhere for contemplation and joy, as well as grief. It is a public space that is intimate, but not too private; public, but not anonymous; somewhere parish members feel safe and comfortable. Applying Scandinavian ecclesiastic design principles with regard to scale, material selection, acoustics and light sets the scene for an uplifting gathering space. The treatment of light and materials are used to express the transient nature of time. As well as functioning as a religious space, the church is intended to host traditional and contemporary acoustic and choral performances, or live jazz and folk ensembles.
The church tower enhances wayfinding, naturally drawing pedestrian flow through the site.
Our Scandinavian design heritage is rooted in the idea of creating inclusive places that promote and sustain wellbeing. The church aligns with this sentiment and it will play a vital role in anchoring the community during a period of transition.
Linda Thiel, Director, White Arkitekter London
In contrast, the adjoining community hall will be a flexible multipurpose space, designed to accommodate a range of different activities, from indoor sports and play, baptismal parties and wedding receptions, to band nights and other musical events. The hall can be used as one large space for plays and concerts, or can be split in half to host two independent functions.
Living within nature
A recurring theme in Scandinavian sacred architecture is a strong connection to nature. This is reflected in St Augustine’s, where the existing green spine will be developed as a woodland walk and community park. This publicly accessible shared space provides a spill-out area for the church and community hall, a place for friends to meet up before the start of mass or an event. It can be richly planted and tended for by the church congregation. The space between the church and cafe can accommodate outside seating, providing an additional social space, accessible to all.
The 70 new homes are planned as mixed-tenure, reflecting the local needs of the area. The Scandinavian influence is also felt within the residential elements; these are designed to maximise daylight and opportunities for social interaction. Homes incorporate entrances and spaces that function as social areas to meet neighbours, including communal roof terrace gardens that can be enjoyed by all residents.