12 Nov 2020 • Institutions
What do John Pawson and Es Devlin have to do with a religious revival?
Following a two-year multi-million-pound renovation, St John at Hackney Church has reopened as a ‘cathedral of creativity’ with input from a number of renowned UK designers.
Hackney Church in London has been given a breath of fresh air with the meditative mastery of John Pawson and an installation by stage designer Es Devlin – whose work is more likely to have been seen by those who think Beyoncé is a goddess than believe in an almighty God. ‘The vision driving the refurbishment of this East London church was always of a “cathedral of creativity”, where architecture and people can come together in the richest ways possible, for a variety of purposes and activities, sacred and secular,’ says Pawson.
Hackney Church has widened its scope to become a centre for the arts and an events venue, hosting the likes of workshops for both members and the wider community. It even partners with a brewery, and runs an apiary and garden project. London design consultancy Omse was brought in to create a new identity to communicate this breadth of scope and the church’s role as a creative hub. The result, which superimposes a cross on an arched window, forms a grid for all imagery. For the launch campaign, bold typography was teamed with photographs of young East Londoners by Vicky Grout and Toby Thomas, helping the surrounding community to personally identify with the institution.