St Mary of Eton development in Hackney Wick wins architecture prize
The church of St Mary of Eton in Hackney Wick has won a RIBA National Award for its site redevelopment and renovations including new flats, church renovation and new community halls and landscaping.
The win comes after St Mary’s won a regional, London RIBA award earlier in the year. RIBA judges particularly noted the sensitivity of the development and that it “makes ingenious use of a surprisingly tightly constrained site.” They also complimented the diamond-patterned, brick diaper work of the new buildings, which “draws the cluster of buildings into a single collegiate group”.
The church is Grade II* listed and was built for the Eton College Mission and opened in 1894. The original complex was designed by George Frederick Bodley, a notable late Victorian Architect who designed many Anglican churches in England as well as cathedrals in Hobart, Tasmania, and Washington DC.
The new development, designed by Matthew Lloyd Architects, involved three new buildings, including 27 residential units as well as a renewed church space, community facilities, community café area and retail unit as well as extensive re-landscaping of the grounds.
Additionally the church’s unique organ underwent a complete rebuild and now provides one of the best parish church organs in London.
The development work took over two years to complete and was re-dedicated by the Bishop of Stepney in November 2014. The new community spaces are being developed for a range of activities with the Church Conservation Trust and are currently becoming popular for family celebrations, parties and weddings along with musical performances.
Fr Reuben Preston SCP, Vicar of St Mary of Eton, commented:
“The renewed site provides a place of awesome beauty in Hackney Wick which is drawing people into closer connection with each other, the contemporary needs of the area and a much greater confidence in reaching out to work for Christ.”