Crossway Church

Exceptional community resource on a challenging site

Crossway Church was part of the Heygate Estate, a large housing estate located in Southwark, south London. The project to replace it was triggered by the large scale regeneration of the area. In June 2013 we were approached by Mott MacDonald Limited, on behalf of Southwark Council, to investigate the feasibility of relocating the church premises to the site of the Castle Daycentre, adjacent to the Strata Tower.

The new church has been designed to provide local people and all its neighbours a host of fresh opportunities, materially boosting the area in a really positive way…I look forward to seeing the church continue to have such a positive impact on my local community

NEIL COYLE / MP FOR BERMONDSEY & OLD SOUTHWARK

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The challenging site, combined with the desired multi-functional use and flexible spaces, presented us with a complex brief. The briefing and design development process was led by vHH, working closely with the Minister to engage intensively with the neighbours and local community, we had numerous meetings to explain the project, responded to their needs, and address their concerns in meaningful ways.

“It’s a great building with much-needed facilities and space for people from the community to get together and work on our projects for better housing, sharing in language exchanges and connecting with each other. Many of our members have commented on how great the Centre is.”SARA CAMERON – HOUSING ACTION SOUTHWARK AND LAMBETH

  • Project Details

    • Location: London
      Client: Mott McDonald, LB Southwark, United Reform Church
      Area: 1345 m2
  • Project Awards

    • Shortlisted – President’s Award, National Church’s Trust
    • Shortlisted - RICS London Awards

Currently the church is home to 10 independent congregations from across the globe, having increased from 7 since moving. There are three day centres – a community kitchen, a homeless drop-in and a one-stop shop for advice for those whose first language is Spanish (a major local demographic).  Community groups include Girls’ Brigade, ballet for all ages, ballroom, driving test lessons in Spanish, tenants association, housing justice group, a professional counsellor and more.

“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

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 adjacent railway.

Acoustics throughout the building are carefully considered to give excellent speech intelligibility and the perfect environment for musical performance.  The building also incorporates excellent sound insulation to prevent train and road noise disrupting worship, and guard against unwanted noise breakout.

The priority for the Minister was creating the building to serve many congregations and community groups, with a high degree of flexibility, generous circulation and social areas. These are supplemented by a well equipped kitchen & WCs/showers that could support the Church’s rough sleeper project.

“It may not be the biggest project to be built in the area, but it will certainly have a profound positive impact on the lives of so many local people – and by that measure it is one of the most important buildings in the area.”

Councillor Mark Williams

Project Timeline

  • 2013
    Commission

    Existing Site

  • Concept

    Site plan

  • Planning
  • Materials
  • Construction
  • 2017
    Completion