Augustinian Centre

Roz Barr Architects as Architects

Roz Barr Architects has submitted plans for a new Augustinian Centre in Hammersmith, West London. The practice has set out detailed proposals to refurbish the existing St Augustine’s church and hall, create a new home for the Order, opening up the site through a series of public realm improvements and a six-storey cast iron ‘tower’.


Located immediately to the south of Hammersmith Broadway on Fulham Palace Road, the existing neo-Romanesque church was built in 1911 and adjacent priory completed in 1916. To the rear a 1960s parish hall currently provides office space and a parish centre, which functions as the outreach project arm of the Order of Saint Augustine. The project was driven by the questions of adapting a set of existing buildings in a city-centre site to offer worship, and a creative space where the church and wider community can seek common ground, spiritually, culturally and socially. It has also sought to re-address the edges of a tough bounded site with little public realm. The new centre sits to the rear of the site, its location beneath the Hammersmith flyover and adjacent to the railway lines enabling a robust response in the form of a six-storey cast iron ‘tower’, inspired by the temporary steel shed known as the "tin cathedral" which housed the original congregation while the church was being built. The proposals create a new centre and priory around the hall, adapting the existing building to create a modern expression and stronger visual connection to the church. The hall retains its function as exhibition and community hall facilities, and will include a new education room and administrative offices. The foyer of the new centre, with interiors inspired by the Gozzoli frescoes of St Augustine in Tuscany, becomes the main entrance and functions as a cafe during the day and an entrance to the new priory, which provides rooms for ten friars and space for formal and informal prayer. The church’s refurbishment will create a lighter interior, removing accretions such as a timber ceiling and Perspex windows-covers. A new sacristy and connections around the apse has been carefully added to the rear of the church. The church is discreetly linked to the original priory, refurbished to provide ancillary accommodation, while externally paving, planting, street lighting and a new garden will transform the elevation to Talgarth Road and create a landscaped piazza in front of the new building.


Roz Barr Architects was approached by the Order of St Augustine’s to revive the church and its surrounds in line with the church’s outreach and new initiatives. Fr Gianni Notarianni of St Augustine’s said: "St Augustine’s is a diverse, lively and multi-cultural family in the heart of a busy part of the city. This new project will help us relate to the wider community of Hammersmith and beyond through spirituality, culture and social justice activities. We have worked closely with Roz Barr Architects to develop designs that meets with the spirit and future thinking of St Augustine’s and are delighted with the results." Roz Barr said: "We are extremely excited about this project and the fact our relationship with St Augustine's can allow us to create a new public space in central London. Here religion, craft, art and community are drawn into a quietly dramatic dialogue within this very urban site. " John Morgan Studio is working closely with the practice to create a new graphic identity for the church.

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