Christ Church Spitalfields

Client: The Rector and PCC of Christ Church Spitalfields
Project status: Completed


  • Building Design Magazine Architect of the Year Award - Refurbishment 2010, Winner

The refurbishment of the crypt to make a performance space, cafe and gallery that connect to the site.

In December 2008 we won an invited architectural design competition for the redevelopment of the crypt of Nicholas Hawksmoor's Grade 1 listed Church at Spitalfields.

The crypt has been subdivided over time into a series of different rooms, and our proposal strips these out, re-unifiying the crypt as one space that relates to the volume of the church above. This allows natural light to enter the centre of the plan, with a series of new enclosures reading as insertions within the volume of the vaulted crypt.

These new enclosures house the private or functional aspects of the brief, and are made of oak, responding to Hawksmoor's use of joinery in the church above to make the areas of inhabitation - stairs, window seats and balconies - that reconcile the giant order of the church with the human scale.

A new ramped entrance on Commercial Street provides a new entrance into the crypt, connecting it more concretely to the city. The crypt also opens into the gardens on the south side of the church, which are being re-landscaped by Robert Myers Associates.

Structural Engineer


Quantity Surveyors

Pierce Hill

Project Management

Heritage & Community Ltd

Access Consultants

David Bonnett Associates

Services Engineer

OR Consulting


Caroe Architecture

Landscape Design

Robert Myers Associates

Project Management



Hugh Strange, ‘1735 organ, Christ Church Spitalfiellds’, in: Hugh Strange, Building Design (London, UK: 2015201520152015)

‘Biba Dow: ‘I’m a frustrated dress-maker’’, in: Biba Dow, Building Design (London, UK: 3 October 2013)

Alun Jones, ‘Dow Jones on refurbishing a Hawksmoor crypt ’, in: Building Design (London, UK: April 2012) Read article at (£)

‘First Look’, in: Building Design (London: 9 January 2012)

‘Drawing Board’, in: BD Review (1 April 2010)


Christ Church Spitalfields
The Friends of Christ Church Spitalfields

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