The Light at Friends House, London Church Building, Design, Images, Architecture
The Light at Friends House
Religous Building in the City of London, England – by John McAslan + Partners
page updated 5 Nov 2016 with new photos ; 20 Mar 2015
The Light at Friends House in London
Design: John McAslan + Partners
John McAslan + Partners has transformed the Large Meeting House at Friends House, the home of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain.
The Grade II building by Hubert Lidbetter won the RIBA Bronze Medal in 1927 and the new scheme has been shortlisted for a 2015 RIBA Award.
One of the most striking elements of the new scheme is the reconfigured internal volume, now named ‘The Light’, topped with a vast, dramatic roof-light, flooding the Meeting House with daylight. The influence of American Quaker artist James Turrell is clearly visible in the design.
James Dixon, project architect, adds: “The vision was to create a place that expresses the values of the Quakers in Britain, transforming the Large Meeting House into a versatile, accessible and sustainable space.”
The outreach and social programmes at Friends House offer a considerable resource to the local community of Camden and the Large Meeting House is hired out to student, community and political groups. The refurbishment has significantly enhanced this important amenity.
The redesign creates a more coherent space. Moveable seating, allowing varied configurations, together with disabled access, has created a more inclusive room volume. The newly configured congregation space is calm and luminous, with a passively ventilated environment.
Paul Parker, Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain said: “Quakers know the value of meeting together on equal terms, being able to listen and hear one another and see each other’s faces.
In The Light we have a space which allows us and others to do just that. A space which speaks about Quakers to the world and yet is contemporary and exciting. The roof-light brings light in from above, not seen since the original clerestory windows of the 1926 Hubert Lidbetter design were hidden by the 1950s ceiling.”
The Light at Friends House in London images / information from John McAslan + Partners
Address: 173-177 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2BJ
Phone: 020 7663 1000
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London Architecture Design – chronological list
Key London Church Buildings
St Paul’s Cathedral London
Design: Christopher Wren, architect
photo © Nick Weall
Key London Church Architect of the past – Nicholas Hawksmoor
Church of St Stephen Walbrook context : Rothschild bank headquarters
Church buildings – Scotland
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Website: John McAslan + Partners