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Debbie Flevotomou wins Battersea spiritual centre contest

London-based Debbie Flevotomou Architects has won the £1,250 first prize in an ideas competition organised by JB Builders to design a spiritual centre in Battersea

The practice, formerly EfZin Architecture, beat emerging outfit One-world Design and a bid by part II architectural assistant Jimmy Chan with its Centre of Religion and Peace proposal.

The competition was organised in collaboration with the South London Society of Architects and the RIBA’s South London branch to find a possible future use for the plot south of the Thames, currently the home of a wholesalers.

The brief called for ideas to tackle the potential ‘danger [to] the diversity of the local community’ from the raft of new developments in the area, including the US Embassy.

A spokeswoman for JB Builders said: ‘We are now considering contacting the owner of the land so we can pursue the design and the project. But everything is still pending.’


Debbie Flevotomou on her victorious scheme

The design is based on the division of spaces to pray and interaction areas. All the areas are interchangeable through a flowing movement (from large spaces to smaller and vice versa) and connected with each others. Internal and external atriums are used as interaction areas for the visitors. The highest point is the tower, shared from all the religions and works as a point of references for the surrounding district. Keeping the historical concept that temples, mosques and churches are landmarks.; the design is iconic and works as a stand alone element.

The design appears abstract, monumental, sculptural, like a piece of art

The freedom of movement the religion centre gives to the visitor is expressed in the freedom of the design forms. The design appears abstract, monumental, sculptural, like a piece of art.
Internally, the interaction of light is contributing as an important design factor. Historically the indirect light has been widely used to spiritual spaces. In this case, the building has glass roofs. The internal areas are bright and atmospheric. Trees and internal gardens contribute to the relaxation and comfort of the visitors.
The design concept was having faith in religion and faith in life.

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