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This west London church replaces medieval mystery with digital geometry in a thrilling reinterpretation of the gothic tradition
If there is any typology of building that seems somehow detached from our secularised, contemporary existence, it is the church. Modernist architecture and the 20th century had a fine tradition of church building, and architects such as Frederick Gibberd, Gillespie, Kidd & Coia and Giles Gilbert Scott created some truly stunning religious buildings, much of it during the post-war explosion in Roman Catholic church construction. Equally, architects working today, such as Niall McLaughlin, Matthew Lloyd and BD’s 2019 AYA Young Architect of the Year Award winner Gatti Routh Rhodes are also skilfully reinventing church architecture for a contemporary audience.
But there are telling caveats. Lloyd and GRR’s work does not involve the creation of standalone churches but rather of churches that form part of more temporally legible residential schemes. And for all his methodical ingenuity, Gilbert Scott’s religious buildings principally involved lean, steroidal mutations of the gothic ecclesiastical tradition.
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