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Heatherwick completes Worth Abbey revival

Heatherwick Studio has completed its refurbishment of Francis Pollen’s 1974 Abbey Church at Worth, Sussex

Thomas Heatherwick’s practice has created new furniture, including pew benches, choir stalls, desks, benches, credence tables, server seats and confessional rooms within the circular Grade II*-listed church at the Abbey - home to 25 English Benedictine monks.

The designer, who is drawing up plans for the Olympic Cauldron centrepiece at the London 2012 Games, used mainly American black walnut for the furniture. Heatherwick chose the wood because of its ‘darkness and subtlety and for the way that when it would be used in quantity on our project, its dusky colour would not become overbearing’.

The iconic building, which did not previously have permanent seating, was ‘the star’ of the BBC television documentary ‘The Monastery’ in

Thomas Heathwerwick's recently completed revamp of Worth Abbey Church

Source: Edmund Sumner

Thomas Heathwerwick’s recently completed revamp of Worth Abbey Church


Project data

Client: Worth Abbey Construction
Designer: Heatherwick Studio
Project Team: Thomas Heatherwick, Peter Ayres, Fergus Comer, Abbey Kendler, Fred Manson, Andrew Taylor
Project Name: Worth Abbey
Location: Worth Abbey, Crawley, Mid Sussex
Phase I completed: September 2011
GFA/Dimension: 35 (w) x 40 (l) x 20m (h)
Site Area: 1600m²
Footprint: 1450m²
Material: Furniture: American Black Walnut, Ash
Contractor: Kier Longley
Quantity Surveyor: FT Allen
Structural Engineer: Tully De’Ath
Mechanical and Electrical Engineer:BLR Associates
Acoustic Analysis: Arup Acoustics
Lighting Designer: DPA Lighting
Furniture: Swift Horsman
Organ: Wyvern Organs
Sound: System Design


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