Plans unveiled to transform Swiss Cottage church
PUBLISHED: 13:48 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:07 16 June 2017
Ambitious plans to transform a church have been unveiled as part of a planning application.
Holy Trinity in Swiss Cottage hopes to expand on its current site with a complete rebuild to include an auditorium, a cafe, fitness studio and striking rose window covering six floors.
Designed by architects from Haworth Tompkins, the church estimates work on the building, called the Lighthouse, will cost about £11m.
Trinity Church’s executive director Tim Keightley said: “We want it to be an inspiration. Churches in recent years have rediscovered a calling to serve the community.
“I don’t know of any other church knocking its building down. To start again in the way we are is possibly unique,” he added.
Basing its design on the first Celtic communities, the Lighthouse is made up of five houses - one each for worship, well-being, healing, education and sanctuary.
The plans would see its present floorspace quadruple with the plan’s supporters expecting the extra space – 23,000 square metres – to allow the church community to grow and expand on its aims to tackle loneliness and isolation in Camden.
With £3m raised so far – most of which has come from Holy Trinity’s congregation – the church plans to seek more donors if they gain planning permission.
Associate pastor Kristin Breuss said: “It would be lovely to feel we could start work within a year and a half of planning permission. If all goes well the building could be up in three years’ time.”
The plans also include accommodation for up to eight young people from vulnerable backgrounds as well as providing a base for youth work charity XLP
The present building was consecrated in the 1970s after replacing the original Victorian church – built to look after the tunnellers of the Metropolitan line – knocked down in the 1960s.