Bethnal Green Methodist Church
LOCATION: Bethnal Green, London
GROSS INTERNAL AREA: approx. 498.28 sqm
SITE TOTAL AREA: approx. 1,165.91sqm
A Harmonious and Versatile Space for Parishioners and Community Members
Having just completed the disabled access scheme to the worship area, the client requested a remodel of the entire site. They wanted a brighter and more appealing environment for parishioners and community members. The church's frontage was made of solid brick. The defensive design of its landscape included a fence, hedges, and trees around the perimeter. These design elements created a dark, unapproachable environment. The rigid configuration of the church's interior resulted in separate spaces to accommodate specific activities. Although this design was indicative of the architectural style of the 1950s, the closed floor plan caused limited air circulation and made it difficult for visitors to locate rooms that felt cramped and dark. The client's brief involved creating a warmer, more welcoming space to provide a more immediate visual connect between the outdoor and indoor spaces. The goal was to draw people to the building and better accommodate a variety of special events, meetings, and ongoing activities.
Opening the frontage involved removing the fencing (railings) and hedges from the site's perimeter and replacing the large windows in the front of the building with glass doors. This creates a clear line of approach and visual connection. Installing windows in the roof, replacing walls with glazing partitions, replacing the front windows with a full-height glazed door, and installing larger windows in the rear elevation allows light to flood into the spaces from all directions.
The remodel created more versatile and harmonious spaces for worship, special events, and recreational activities. Impressed with the quality of work, the client invited us to participate to a tender return of a design for a new church to replace the existing.