MSMR Architects has won planning for a mixed-use religious centre in Battersea, London
The building will become the new home for the Roman Catholic Salesians of Don Bosco religious community on the site of the former Salesian College in Battersea.
The scheme includes living accommodation for members and visitors, meeting rooms, offices and a small chapel.
The community centre forms part of a larger redevelopment of the site including a new school, a college and a series of residential apartment buildings.
The architect’s view
‘Careful consideration has been given to how the Community House element fits into the overall master plan and how it can successfully contribute to a cohesive composition of buildings and spaces across the mixed-use site. The use of brick cladding throughout the design is a contextual response to the Three Sisters conservation area, immediately adjacent to the site. The acute angles of the site boundary are reflected in the cut out triangular balconies and angular brick piers that animate the façade.
‘One of the challenges has been to ensure the building can properly satisfy the residents’ need for privacy and a contemplative space, while also acting as the public face of the Salesian order in Battersea. The glass staircase, which connects the street frontage through to the chapel at the rear, helps to define the mixture of uses by dividing the building into two elements. The block closest to the school houses a multipurpose space that will be made available for use by the new St John Bosco College, as well as for visiting school groups from other Salesian parishes. The block furthest from the school is more private, with large communal living spaces opening onto the garden at ground floor and individual private rooms on the upper floors.’