I spotted that the Architecture Foundation was organising a tour of the Bethnal Green Mission Church, a new building nearly opposite the Bethnal Green Museum. It was being led by its architects – Richard Gatti (ex-Denton Corker Marshall), Tom Routh and Stefanie Rhodes.
The church was originally established in the 1860s by Annie Macpherson, a friend of Dr. Barnardo, to provide ‘a home of industry’ and a respite from the appalling conditions of the match-box making industry.
In 1952, a new church was opened, combined with a vicarage and medical practice:-
By 2012, this needed to be replaced:-
Gatti Routh Rhodes were employed to do a feasibility study and then design a new church as a joint venture with a property developer who was a member of the congregation.
They based their ideas on a study of the two churches in Fournier Street: Christ Church, full of the pomp and circumstance of the Anglican church establishment, and the Huguenot church at the other end of the street, which was integrated with the street façade – a community resource as much as a place of worship.
So, the church itself is reticent – a large room in the centre of the building. The building is concrete and brick (raking monk bond) – like the church reticent:-
It fits well at the top end of Paradise Gardens:-
Best of all is THE BEEHIVE COFFEE AND INDUSTRY on the corner of Cambridge Heath Road:-
And the view of the Bethnal Green Museum from upstairs:-