White Arkitekter appointed to redevelop Saint Augustine’s Church in Colindale

The Diocese of London (DoL) has appointed White Arkitekter to redevelop and unlock opportunities on one of its key sites, located at the heart of the Grahame Park Regeneration Scheme, Colindale, in the London Borough of Barnet. The rest of the Grahame Park Regeneration is delivered by Genesis Housing Association in partnership with London Borough of Barnet.

The mixed-use redevelopment will be housing-led, the residential element funding the delivery of a modern church, hall, ancillary spaces and vicarage to meet the spiritual and social needs and work of a new thriving parish. As well as a spiritual centre, the new development will form a new cultural and social hub for the whole area; a community facility for the benefit of all faiths and none, while being unmistakably and unapologetically a church, a centre of Christian worship. To activate the public realm the development will include non-residential uses that will complement the church and housing. At least one of the residential units will be retained by the church to house community workers on lower incomes. The approximately 6500 sq m scheme with its active street frontage will benefit the area by providing a quality public realm that will create a vibrant new piazza at the heart of Grahame Park.
Working closely with DoL and the local community over the coming months, White Arkitekter will develop concept designs to assess the capacity, height, scale and massing, potential mix and distribution of land uses, landscape and public realm options. Close consultation is vital to ensure the new development is appropriately integrated into the burgeoning neighbourhood of Colindale.

 

Tony Moseley, Programme Manager, 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.”

 

Revd Dr Joseph Gabor, Minister in Charge, 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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