The project to replace Crossway Church was triggered by the redevelopment of the Heygate Estate. Southwark Council decided it was also necessary to demolish the Church, and so the Council and the URC agreed to replace the building on a small plot just to the south of Strata, a 43 storey residential high-rise, and sandwiched between a large housing block and a railway viaduct, with access only possible from the southern end.
This challenging site, combined with the desired multi-functional use and flexible spaces, presented us with a rather complex brief, which we responded to with a clear set of solutions.
We have organised the building with the main worship area to the north, with a clear linear route from the entrance giving access to all the facilities at both levels. The church office at reception provides and immediate welcome and supervises the entrance and the two stairs allow the building to be zoned for different uses throughout the day. Generous circulation allows people to gather inside the building before worship or other events
Upstairs, the secondary worship area can be split into two rooms, and there are several other meeting rooms. All spaces have good daylight and excellent acoustics. The intention is that these will provide accessible and useful space which can be used by a wide variety of community groups to benefit local people.
The building elevations combine textured brick and copper detailing to provide a strong but accessible character, making it stand out as a Christian community centre within its local context. The entrance façade incorporates a large cross within its design, and the crosses formed in the textured brickwork are visible from the Elephant and Castle roundabout and from the railway.
We look forward to seeing it having a positive impact and continuing the mission of the URC at Elephant and Castle for future generations.
“The new building is designed and arranged to enable smaller congregations to get started and ‘seeds’ the future worshipping communities from all over London”
Rev’d Peter Stevenson – Crossway Church