St Augustine’s Church
Roz Barr Architects have completed the restoration and refurbishment of St Augustine’s Church in West London. Although the church is not listed it was noted of merit within the Hammersmith Conservation Area. We were appointed by The Order of St Augustine to develop the site and create a new Augustinian Centre with the restoration of the church as the first phase of a larger building project.
Roz Barr wanted to respect the original volume and features of the existing church and to strip back the existing timber and masonry of the interior from years of layers of paint and decoration to reveal the architecture that had been hidden. The existing timber ceiling and vestibule were stripped and sanded then treated with a white oil. This gave a a lighter and purer interior to offer a more uplifting sacred space. The existing stone columns had also been covered in paint were stripped to reveal their true materiality and the timber screens to the vestibules were restored. New confession booths were formed within an existing transept and the tall volumes allow for the geometry of the internal vaulted ceilings to follow the lines of existing stainless windows that they frame. The floor level of the altar was raised and reconfigured with the original green marble from the High Altar that was recovered from the site and re-used. This defined the place for the new Altar designed by ceramist, Julian Stair.
Building Services engineers Ritchie+Daffin, have designed a new heating system that heats the masonry walls and columns to create a more sustainable and efficient solution to servicing historic building fabric. This is a first time this heating application has been installed in the UK.
Suspended above the Altar is a new cast iron light ring designed by Roz Barr in collaboration with graphics designers, John Morgan Studio who have created a new typology for St Augustines. John Morgan Studio also created a fresco to the rear wall of the Sanctuary that is hand painted in Gold-leaf and with the signage to the Stations of the Cross this adds another layer of texture to the newly refurbished interior.
The next phase of works includes refurbishing the existing 1960s centre and extending it to create the new Augustinian Centre which will include a new Priory and Public rooms with a new urban garden that is designed by Todd Longstaff Gowan.
We are pleased to announce we are the winners of The Presidents’ Award for the restoration and refurbishment of St Augustine’s Church by the UK Church Architecture Awards 2019.*
Photographs: John MacLean