Thursday, 9 August 2012

Christ Church & Upton Chapel, Lambeth

Across the road from Lambeth North tube station stands an isolated Victorian Gothic church spire, with a 1960s office building behind. This originally belonged to Christ Church, the body of which was destroyed in WWII. At the bottom of the replacement building there is a curious concrete facade of interlocking naturalistic forms, and behind is the now combined Christ Church & Upton Chapel. It serves both the United Reformed and Baptist communities. The doors open directly onto the chapel, and one is immediately struck by the stained glass window featuring people from throughout the ages.

The remaining Victorian tower is today a memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The juxtaposition of old and new is striking and shows how old elements can be preserved as monuments to the past. It also highlights how not all 1960s architects were as thoughtless as is often felt today.  The spire is still a landmark for this major junction.

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