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Pleated fabric canopy tops a floating church

Out There | December 6, 2017 | By:

Rendering by Denizen Works.

The Diocese of London has commissioned architecture studio Denizen Works to design an unusual means of reaching church-goers: a floating church. The studio will collaborate with Turks boat builders to construct a canal boat church, meeting parishioners and neighbors where they are along the waterways.

A canopy of translucent pleats crafted from sail material mimics church organ bellows in a spectacular canopy. The pop-up nature of the canopy ensures the boat is compact enough to clear bridges. When moored, the boat will expand, allowing ambient light to filter in during the day and creating a warm glow at night.

In addition to its function as a church, the boat is designed with a flexible and adaptable interior to accommodate community activities, such as parent and toddler groups, meeting spaces, supper clubs, exhibitions, live music, yoga classes, book groups and art classes.

Construction of the Floating Church is expected to begin in March 2018 with completion by the end of the year.

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