I posted recently about the discovery of a triangular church, which seems to me to be a fairly rare phenomena, and one which had a particular, if restricted, heyday in the 1960s. The form interests me not so much in itself, than in its relation to the suburban areas in which they appeared. Looking at the area around the Ham church, this area was developed pretty much at the same time as the churches were built, so I expect the church was designed into the masterplan for the area, as a focal point both spiritually and physically (the particular road arrangement around the Ham church which led me to notice it in the first place places it at the end of one of the main road entrances to the estate).
After the second world war there was a real open-mindedness among architects and the people commissioning buildings to try these alternative forms. It all seems to be one with the mood that made the Festival of Britain the success it was.
Going off at something of a tangent, I should probably ask: was it really a success? Or is that just the perception I/we have of it nowadays? I’ve not read up on this subject, I’m just looking at the results that I see around me. Were its effects restricted to the designers and architects who were creating the material that represented trends? Were the ‘public’ as enamoured of the buildings left in its wake and which they then had to make use of?
In this context however, suffice to say that I love it and the buildings left behind. So to continue on my semi-theme of suburban churches which depart from the longitudinal form, the following are some aerial views by way of illustration:
St Richards Church of England, Ham
Unknown church near Thames Ditton
St Marys Church, Leyland, Lancashire
An example of an urban equivalent: Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
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