Matthew Lloyd Architects’ involvement with the Shoreditch Tabernacle Baptist Church dates back well over a decade. In 2005 it renovated the church’s late-nineteenth-century hall, which was then surrounded by surface car parking where terraced housing had once stood, and adjacent to a 1960s church that had replaced a grand temple designed by Thomas Banks which was bomb-damaged during the war.
The architect’s latest project on the site is the creation of a new church, which has occurred simultaneously with the erection of 35 residential units above and adjacent. This formed part of a major development providing residential, social and community uses in Shoreditch, with other phases by FCB Studios, for a consortium comprising Genesis Housing Association, Mildmay Mission Hospital, and Shoreditch Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Situated on the most prominent part of the site, the church facade uses different textures and bonding of brickwork to pattern the block, “imparting a sculptural, timeless quality”, suggests the architect. Through this textured brickwork and the treatment of door and window openings in the adjacent housing block, the scheme emulates the predominant building stock of Hackney Road, with the flats appearing as a row of terraced houses with individual front doors. Inside the site, the simple, unadorned curved wall of the chapel provides a calm backdrop to a garden shared with residents.