The former St Luke’s Church, London EC1

From the Historic England entry of 29-Dec-1950:

“Former Church of St Luke, now a ruin. 1727-33. The architect is disputed; the body of the church is possibly by John James, the west tower, spire and flanking staircase wings by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Brick faced with ashlar and stucco. Originally chancel, nave and aisles under a single roof, west tower with spire and flanking staircase wings. Of the chancel, nave and aisles only the outer walls remain. East end has a central Palladian window resting on a slightly projecting plinth; to either side there is a lower window, square with a plain architrave and double keystone, and an upper window, round-arched, also with plain architrave and double keystone. The north and south elevations have upper and lower windows of this kind to five bays, except that the easternmost bay on the north side has a single-storey stuccoed vestry (presumably), and the same bay on the south side has an entrance with architrave and floating cornice; dentil cornice overall. The staircase wings have entrances to their south and north sides respectively with architrave, floating cornice and oculus over, and a square window with plain architrave and double keystone and oculus over to their western sides; moulded eaves cornice. The tower has a west entrance at its base, round-arched with archivolt and keystone framed by pilasters carrying entablature with triglyph frieze, and oculus over; storey band; where it fronts the gable of the body of the church the tower has large oculi on three sides. The bellstage has round-arched openings; then one more oculus stage followed by the spire in the form of a fluted obelisk. The remaining interior consists of a domed vestibule under the tower and staircases in the side wings.”


“The Grade 1 listed St Luke’s Church in EC1 was declared unsafe in 1959 and remained derelict and un-used for years. But following a major refurbishment, the building is now a vibrant, accessible and sustainable venue, home to the London Symphony Orchestra’s music education programme, LSO Discovery.

Islington Council was appointed as the Building Control body for the venue and worked closely with the architects from the outset. We set up a local authority team – bringing together the Council’s access, conservation, building control and licensing officers.

The Council team worked closely with the architects to meet an ambitious brief and address key priorities including building acoustics, high standards of accessibility, fire safety and the flow of people around the building. There were also some significant constraints because of the building’s conservation needs. The Council’s surveyors worked with the client to ensure the building had suitable access and safety features which remained sympathetic and in keeping with the design requirements and heritage of the building.

Anne Basley, Facilities Manager at LSO St Luke’s said:

“Heritage projects like this one can be challenging and positive working relationships are essential to their success. The Council team were supportive and proactive in coming up with practical and flexible solutions to support our vision, while keeping standards for access and safety high.”

LSO St Luke’s is now a much-loved venue, which hosts many concerts as well as workshops and activities for local organisations and schools.”

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