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FIRST LOOK

Roz Barr Architects completes restoration of west London church

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The restoration and refurbishment of St Augustine’s Church’s interior sees it stripped back to reveal the bones of the original architecture

Roz Barr Architects was 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 the larger building project. 

The practice’s main design idea guiding the restoration has been to respect the original volume and features of the church, stripping back layers of paint and decoration from the existing timber and masonry to reveal the original architecture more clearly. While not listed, the church is noted as being of merit within the Hammersmith Conservation Area. 

Rb st augustines 0225

Rb st augustines 0225

Source: John Maclean

The timber ceiling and vestibule was stripped, sanded and then treated with a white oil, in order to to lighten the spaces, with the intention of creating a purer, more uplifting, sacred space. Stone columns were stripped to reveal their materiality and the timber screens to the vestibules were restored, with new confession booths formed within the existing transept. 

The floor level of the altar was raised and reconfigured, and the original green marble from the high altar recovered from the site and reused, defining the place for a new altar designed by ceramist Julian Stair.

Suspended above the altar is a new cast iron light ring designed by the practice in collaboration with graphic designers John Morgan Studio, who created a special typeface for St Augustine’s. 

The next phase of works includes refurbishing the a 1960s building and extending it to create the new Augustinian Centre, which will include a new priory and public rooms with an urban garden designed by Todd Longstaff Gowan.

Rb st augustines 0167

Rb st augustines 0167

Source: John Maclean

Architect’s view 

This project has been many years in the making and there is an honesty to our approach that aims to celebrate this urban room and create a more optimistic and purer interior. Collaborating with Julian, John and Father Gianni has emphasised the unity of art and architecture, and therefore is an extremely important project for the practice. We look forward to the next phase. 

Roz Barr, director, Roz Barr Architects

2 rba proposed church plan copy

2 rba proposed church plan copy

Source: Roz Barr Architects

Plan

Project data 

Start date July 2017
Completion December 2017
Form of contract or procurement route JCT Traditional
Construction cost £650,000
Architects Roz Barr Architects
Client The Order of St Augustine 
Structural engineer Smith Wallwork Engineers
Building services Ritchie + Daffin Engineers
QS Stockdale
Project manager Castle Davis
Approved building inspector MLM
Main contractor Clive Graham Associates
Specialist subcontractor Hargreaves Foundry  
Specialist lettering John Morgan Studio/Abyme
Gilding Philip Surey Ltd
CAD software used Microstation

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