The Tin Chapel was initially created as a temporary oratory at St. Augustine’s Church in Hammersmith, London. Our proposal is in reference to the temporary structure - fondly referred to as the ‘Tin Cathedral’ - that originally housed the first Augustinian congregation whilst the new St Augustine’s church was being built. Once common throughout Britain, temporary places of worship such as these were assembled from sheets of corrugated tin and were dismantled once their permanent counterparts were completed. Having served their purpose, these lightweight structures were then flat packed for shipment and repurposed elsewhere. After three months in Hammersmith, the Tin Chapel has travelled across London to form part of a Christmas installation in Store Street’s South Crescent.
The pavilion is a celebration of St Augustine’s Church, which hosted the 100-year anniversary of its founding last year, and also of the refurbishment that we have completed this year.
The pavilion demonstrates our process in making in the context of the church refurbishment. The positive formwork used in the making of the new cast iron tabernacle and cast iron ring above the altar are repurposed as decorative elements within the installation. The galvanised steel shroud to the external wall is in reference to the original ‘Tin Cathedral’, while the timber frame alludes to the large roof trusses in the church interior, which have been stripped back and lightened through our refurbishment.
Together, these fragments from the refurbishment come together to provide shelter from the outside world, offering a temporary oratory for contemplation.