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White Arkitekter wins Colindale church redevelopment

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White Arkitekter has won an invited competition to redevelop St. Augustine’s Church in Colindale, northwest London

The Gothenburg and London-based practice defeated four unnamed finalists to win the project which is backed by the Diocese of London.

The project is at the centre of the wider Grahame Park Regeneration Scheme which is being delivered by Genesis Housing Association in partnership with London Borough of Barnet.

The church occupies a 2,883m² plot and was completed by Biscoe & Stanton Architects in 1971.

White Arkitekter’s winning scheme will deliver a 6,500m² mixed-use regeneration of the site, featuring new housing, a modern church, a community hall, ancillary spaces and a vicarage.

Tony Moseley, programme manager at The Diocese of London, said: ‘We are very pleased to have White Arkitekter on board. This project requires great sensitivity to respect the needs of the existing community whilst celebrating the changes that the regeneration of Grahame Park Estate will bring.

‘We chose White Arkitekter because they emphasize dialogue, and focus on how people use and come together in spaces and places in their design practice. The mix of uses on a tight site is challenging, White Arkitekter brings great expertise in getting beneath the surface of a project, identifying the qualities of a place and working creatively within the constraints of a site.’

Joseph Gabor, the minister in charge at St Augustine’s, Grahame Park, said: ‘Building a brand new church is, literally, a “sacred” challenge and an opportunity to relearn who we are and what are we doing.

‘For me, as pastor of the community and as a theologian, this is an opportunity to learn a new language and with White Arkitekter it promises to be a fascinating dialogue and a mutual learning. A good building recognises the past and the redevelopment must embed the faithful worship of generations of residents of Grahame Park. This personal presence is a guiding principle for designing a church in our tradition.’

White Arkitekter said: ‘This project is a unique opportunity to create a place where everyone in the community is welcome. It is an honour for us to work with St Augustine’s Church to help them realise their vision for the site as a hub of the community. We envision a beautiful place, a retreat from hectic city life and the digital world.

‘Today, arguably more than ever, churches continue to be the lifeline of any society, providing a welcoming space and diverse public services to the surrounding communities. Our Scandinavian design heritage is rooted in the idea of creating inclusive places which promote and sustain well-being. The church aligns with this sentiment and it will play a vital role in anchoring the community during a period of transition as the Grahame Park Estate is redeveloped, attracting newcomers to the area.’

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