Heavenly Mansions

Gatti Routh Rhodes (with St. Anne’s Hoxton, Bernadette Cunningham and Webb Yates)

There are over 16,000 Anglican churches in the UK, many built during Victorian urban expansion. Today, countless churches are underused, while expensive to maintain and of modest architectural significance.

The 2021 report of The Commission of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York on Housing, Church and Community states that the Church of England should put their land and their assets to good use, and that affordable housing is essential to sustain communities.

We put two and two together: Parishes require affordable housing for young people and key workers. Churches require extensive retrofitting and help to be made sustainable and comfortable. The Church of England already is an experienced landlord with a property rental arm providing affordable housing for retired clergy.

At St. Anne’s Hoxton Gatti Routh Rhodes have worked with the Vicar, and a developer experienced in combining church uses with housing. We have inserted six generous, one-bedroom apartments into the roof of St. Anne’s, with a separate access from the rear of the nave. The roof is renewed and insulated, while the community space below retains its character – the inserted volume stops at the crossing, and the full-height transept retains the spatial drama that makes churches so special.

This is a reversible, lightweight intervention that has minimal impact on the external appearance. The parish can rent these properties as they see fit - at commercial rates to raise funds, or as affordable housing to support young people or key workers such as youth workers, prison counsellors and food bank managers.

Gatti Routh Rhodes
Tom Routh, Architect
Richard Gatti, Architect
Stefanie Rhodes, Architect

Church of England, Vicar at St. Anne’s Hoxton & Grace Church Hackney
Andrew Jones, Vicar

Bernadette Cunningham, Developer

Webb Yates
Becca Troy, Multi - disciplinary Engineer