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St John’s Church, Hackney

Neo-classical Georgian church regains its wow factor as it diversifies into a centre for the arts and a world-class events venue

St John's Church.
St John's Church. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

Thomas Ford & Partners with John Pawson for PCC of St John at Hackney
Contract value: £4.1m
GIA: 1,948 m²
Cost per m²: £2,105

St John’s has regained its wow! Externally St John’s is a quintessential neo-classical Georgian parish church. What lies within, however, is a true diversification of an Anglican place of worship into a centre for the arts and a world-class music and events venue. All in a minimalist Georgian interior, stripped of later alterations and with subtle new interventions. These include a permanent stage within the nave. A new, coherent five-storey insertion accommodates community kitchen and back of house. New storage walls wrap around the church’s perimeter clad in dark stained vertical oak fins. This wood stain has been extended across the bars, floors and balcony seating. The effect is striking, contrasting with the flat white walls and columns. The client’s clear passion and dynamism shines through.  In its shifting of the narrative use of the church, and enabling so much celebration and outreach, it is truly impressive.

  • St John's Church.
    St John's Church. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher
  • St John's Church.
    St John's Church. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher
  • St John's Church.
    St John's Church. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher
  • St John's Church.
    St John's Church. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher
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