St Cyprian's development begins

Demolition work is imminent at St Cyprian's Church, by the junction of Adelaide Avenue and Brockley Road. The plan is to build a new mixed-use development, which will retain the Brockley Road-side facade but getting rid of the rest of the church, creating a restaurant and office at ground level and residential space above.

New restaurant space is welcome and this church has been a grim, brooding presence on the high street for a long time, but the architectural mash-up (below) the developers are going for is pretty unsastisfactory chimera, which belongs on this list. It's neither respectful of the building's character, nor bold modern architecture.

With thanks to Nick for the photo.

29 comments:

awharton04@yahoo.co.uk said...

It would have been much nicer and more useful as a "Brockley Picture House" or something...

Anon said...

I would love to comment on the expected standard of this development, based on prior experience of these guys, but I'll desist....

Bob said...

To be pedantic, the building in question was St Cyprian's church hall, not the actual church, which was bombed out in WW2 and was on Adelaide Avenue where Prendergast School now stands.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, I went on their website. Not encouraging.

Danny Boy said...

has planning been granted?

Michael Hubbard said...

=(

Michael Shaeffer said...

Can we do anything? The architecture on nearly all of the recent builds in Brockley has been woeful.

Martin said...

It looks heavy and depressing even on the visualization. I am worried that it will look even worse in real life. I am all for making use of that building however I hope we don't get another building with dark, heavy, metal balconies.

Headhunter said...

Unless forced by local councils, developers are never going to spend more than necessary on new buildings, they're in it to maximise profits. Although employing some landmark architect to design your new block of flats will add some value it won't add enough of a premium to the price to make developers do it without prompting.... It has always been thus, look at the Victorian streets in London - row upon row of identikit terraced or semi houses, these weren't built to be architecturally outstanding, they will built for purpose, although as it turns out they've withstood the test of time and are now desirable....

Dave said...

There we have it then , todays ugly duckling is tomorrows swan

Lord Rogers said...

Architects would never grace a blog such as this with their presence and they don't have to justify their design thoughts with anybody except the council planning officers - and then only as far as the bureaucracy demands, but it would be nice if they extended the common courtesy every once in a while to genuinely engage with local residents, and not just with 'consultations' and PR exercises. All this is a pipe dream of course . . .

Catford Central said...

I have fond memories of bopping to rock & roll and Malt Shop classics at St Cyp's on a Tuesday night. Whilst the remaining façade will continue to remind me of good times, the whole development looks more than a little 'off'.

Headhunter said...

Well not quite... I don't suppose that the materials used in todays developments - concrete and MDF will age quite as gracefully as good old brick and stone... Perhaps rather than making excessive demands on developers, councils could encourage or demand the use of better materials? At least on the outside... Problem is Lewisham BC's planning dept is woefully underfunded so stuff just gets ignored...

Claret Badger said...

Whilst the Victorians built 'identikit' mass housing, they did it with pride. Cornicings, stained glass, often quirky exterior moldings and far more importantly a build quality that insured that most are still standing well over 100 years later. I doubt if any of the modern housing will be standing in 30 years let alone 100. Why? Because its all about maximising profit. Its disgraceful, but that's the world we live in.

AliAfro said...

Here's the original planning app which includes layout plans etc http://planning.lewisham.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=_LEWIS_DCAPR_60562

Tim said...

Maximising Profits = Capitalism. it's worked pretty well for humanity over the past 500 years or more.

Brockley Nick said...

I think you'll find that humanity's last 500 years has been driven by a mixed economy. Maximise profit subject to regulation based on agreed social needs and goods.

Danja said...

Tim is a Hayekian robot. Why he wastes his time commenting when he doesn't get paid to do so I don't know.

Peter Tooke said...

This is ridiculous - totally incongruous. Either get rid of the old facade altogether (which is not that special, surely?) or keep it and build something behind it that is vaguely sympathetic to the old design. I favour the former, keeping the building line at all levels. Incidentally the third floor extension in the adjacent building (which is highly prominent as you approach the traffic lights along Adelaide Avenue) is one of the most ugly and incongruous I have ever seen and should never have been allowed (if indeed it required permission). Altogether these are good examples of how Lewisham settles for low, low, standards when it comes to urban planning and 'development control'.

Tim said...

Seems a bit pedantic Nick.
No one has ever called me a "Hayekian robot" before, but I've heard worse I suppose.
I don't know much about architecture but it looks quite interesting to me. A mix of old and new. Is it really so bad?
Also, let's face it, it was a derelict building on a very average street in a generally obscure part of London. Until recently most people thought I lived in Broccoli or Bromley. Shouldn't we just be happy about some new housing and a restaurant and move on? Maybe if the developer has a good experience with this one, it will encourage all their developer friends to pay more attention to the area?

Monkeyboy said...

the rubbish stuff the victorians built has either fallen down or been pulled down. They were quiet capable of throwing up crap for profit only.

Ez said...

Hmm, I think it is eccentric enough to work if done well, but the chances are it won't be, I suppose. BTW, I went past the 'façade job' in Spitalfields recently; it has to be seen to be believed.

Ez said...

A lot longer than 500 years. Check out the Old Babylonian law codes.

Gu Est said...

Does the name suggests that Cipriani's will open in Brockley?

stevedoole said...

Less than 500 I think as the medieval period was hardly capitalism, and usury was not permitted for a long period.

heckmcbuff said...

It isn't as bad as I'd expected but it still isn't good. I'm pleased they are keeping the facade, at least.

heckmcbuff said...

I'm glad people are noticing.

heckmcbuff said...

There is nothing average or obscure about a street you happen to live on.

heckmcbuff said...

The extension that was built behind the new barbers shop on that corner is an abomination. I am in complete disbelief that Lewisham Council know anything about it. Someone in the Planning Department must be taking envelopes under the table.

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