Building Tour: Bethnal Green Mission Church with Gatti Routh Rhodes

Join us for an architect-led tour of this new multi-use community hub in Bethnal Green


11:00am, Saturday, 23 February 2019


12:30pm, Saturday, 23 February 2019

Tour Guides:

Richard Gatti
Richard Gatti

Tom Routh
Tom Routh

Stefanie RhodesStephanie Rhodes

Time: 11 - 12.30pm

Duration: 1.5 hrs

Meeting Point: Paradise Gardens outside the Beehive Café at the Bethnal Green Mission Church


This is a past event

The new Bethnal Green Mission Church is located at the heart of the Bethnal Green Gardens conservation area, amongst neighbours such as John Soane's St. John's Church and the V&A Museum of Childhood. It represents Gatti Routh Rhode's ongoing interest in how to best leverage limited resources to create buildings imbued both with a deep sense of community and a rich materiality.

Completed in late 2018, the building includes a double height church, two community halls, a café, a foodbank and community kitchen as well as a vicarage and offices. The northern end of the adjacent Grade 2 listed park has been redesigned as part of the scheme, rejuvenating a previously unloved public realm with the community spaces overlooking and spilling out into the gardens. Key worker and private residential accommodation (the sale of which provides finance for the scheme) is sited above, served by a separate entrance and circulation.

The pale brick facade, with a distinctive bond, is framed by precast light concrete elements. The gates and the stained glass (developed by GRR in collaboration with artist Coralie Bickford-Smith) express the building’s civic use and pick up on the exposed concrete coffers spanning the church space, which themselves reference the tradition of vaulted church ceilings. The new facilities will enable the church (directly and in partnership with others) to continue its tradition of serving the community, in particular, the foodbank store will support that organisation, and the community kitchen and showers will facilitate the ongoing delivery of a night shelter for the homeless. This diverse range of activities was made possible on a compact site by creating tightly planned overlapping flexible spaces, and by a set of sectional relationships that effectively balance generosity, height and light with more intimate, compact spaces.

Richard, Tom and Stefanie founded Gatti Routh Rhodes in 2013.

Tour Guides:

Richard Gatti

Prior to founding GRR, Richard worked at Denton Corker Marshall in both the UK and Australia, and at Delvendahl Martin Architects and erect architecture. Richard has taught a wide range of architecture courses at the CASS School of Architecture at London Metropolitan University. Before undertaking his architectural training  he received a degree in Genetics and Zoology at Leeds University and worked with the long-term unemployed, refugees and prisoners.

Tom Routh

Before setting up GRR, Tom worked at Stanton Williams and Denton Corker Marshall on a diverse range of cultural, commercial and residential projects. These include a new research facility for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the Stonehenge Visitor Centre. Prior to training as an architect, he received a degree in Art History from the University of East Anglia. Tom has taught architecture at the CASS.

Stefanie Rhodes

Stefanie has worked with architectural practices in South Korea, Paris and London, most recently before joining GRR at Karakusevic Carson Architects where she worked on large scale estate regeneration projects including the Kings Crescent Estate. She has taught architecture courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Korea and at the CASS, and is a member of the RIBA Schools of Architecture Validation Panel, an Independent Adviser to the ARB and part of the London Borough of Hackney Regeneration Design Advice Group.

Bethnal Green Mission Church

Photo: Jack Hobhouse