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Knox Bhavan’s plan to turn Peckham church into Buddhist centre wins approval

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Knox Bhavan Architects has won planning consent for a Buddhist centre in a remodelled and extended former church hall in Peckham, south London

The meditation centre will be home to the Qingliang Buddhist Association, as well as acting as a new community resource within the Nunhead conservation area.

It features a contemporary spire that was informed by the London practice’s research trip to Mount Wutai, a sacred Buddhist site in China’s north-eastern Shanxi province.

The transparent spire is a re-interpretation of a traditional stupa, a mound-shaped Buddhist monument. It is shaped from 10 slender beams that support eight levels of golden fins, representing the Buddhist path to enlightenment.

Beneath the spire, at the heart of the building, is a bright and peaceful room for meditation.

The revamped Edwardian church hall will also feature a library and vegetarian café, alongside a six-bed dormitory for resident and visiting monks.

The street elevation has been overhauled using a new cantilevered glazed reception area projecting from the first floor. A large ground-floor space can be opened up or subdivided to accommodate classes or community events.

A new side extension, flanked by buttresses and new planting, will improve circulation and accommodate toilets, a kitchen and storage space.

Simon Knox, senior partner at Knox Bhavan Architects said: ‘We are very thrilled to be working with the Qingliang Association in London, and to take forward a project which brings with it a fusion of architectural traditions and the opportunity to revive a building and its neighbourhood.

‘Our project will enliven a corner of south London with a mixture of the familiar and the exotic, and offers an important community building for everyone to enjoy.’

knox bhavan crd 6 model 2

knox bhavan crd 6 model 2

Source: Knox Bhavan

Side profile of Buddhist centre scheme

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