DaeWha Kang: The Regeneration of St Andrew’s Holborn
DaeWha Kang: The Regeneration of St Andrew’s
The regeneration of this Christopher Wren church began with the Bishop's ambition to create a more serene, welcoming, and numinous space for worship. The building was heavily damaged in the war and the rebuilt interior was in need of consolidation and refocusing. Our approach began with the idea of intensity within calm, using warm stone and light colours to create a backdrop for individual moments of dramatic expression. Through this idea the ambition was to show respect to the context of Wren’s architecture while also creating moments of transcendent experience. Taking inspiration from a spring discovered under the west end of the church, we created a west to east movement from water to light, birth to death and rebirth, and genesis to revelation. A quiet baptistery at the west end creates a setting for the baptismal font. The main feature is a geometric stone floor that takes its pattern from some of Wren’s early mathematical works. We mark the east end with a gilt brass tabernacle and a setting for the high altar. In contrast to the circular designs of the baptistery, the tabernacle forms a series of nested cubes. In the north aisle we created a Lady Chapel, taking inspiration from Mary Star of the Sea. A large brass reredos and perforated side screens create a quiet space of contemplation and reflection. Wren had a great interest in astronomy and with this piece we look to bridge the gap between the ocean of the here and now and the transcendence of the celestial heavens.