Christ Church, URC, Newham

Planning Application date: 2016 - Contract started 2020
Contract value: £1.8m
Gross internal floor area: 757 sq.m.

The existing Christ Church buildings date from a more utilitarian period in church building history, however the Church of today has a very different attitude to church life, whilst still holding to biblical values is much less formal, far more open and outgoing. It also reflects the diverse ethnic character of the local congregation who bring a new, fresher much more vibrant attitude to worship and church life. It is appropriate therefore that the building should reflect these in its contemporary architectural form and design. The auditorium space accommodates about 160 people at ground floor level which is the optimum capacity of the Church on a Sunday with an additional 74 seats on the gallery for special occasions like baptisms or Easter etc. In addition to church worship, the space can also be used for other compatible activities like concerts, lectures or films. There are glimpsed views of the auditorium from the external seating space to the front of the church. The building is made up of distinct forms which is reflected in the external finish and itself reflects the distinct function of each space. The single storey block to the rear of the site accommodates the pre-school. The materials used are coloured HPL panels large areas of sliding glass doors to enable the space to open out in the warmer weather. A flat roof set behind a parapet wall is chosen to keep the height of the external wall facing the gardens on Nile Road as low as possible. A row of narrow rooflights bathe the rear wall in natural light and add natural ventilation to the rooms.