Sheppard Robson's design for the KICC Church in East London
The KICC church in East London, when complete, will be one of the largest churches in the UK. Located on the LDA Beam Reach site, a 4ha brownfield site to the east of Olympic Park, the development includes 8000 seat main church, 1000 seat youth church, 500 seat chapel, 6,000m2 offices and 1200 space carpark, all focussed around a newly created public square.
The main church dominates the site and sets the design criteria for the whole development. Its concept is driven by KICC’s ambition to create an inspirational, permeable and legible space, away from the traditional form of worship. The structure creates a volume to the main auditorium which lifts as it reaches the stage area, opening to form an elongated star. Seating rakes up from the stage area and is accessed via escalators, lifts and stairs through the main entrance lobby, a fully glazed (25metre), simple, dramatic space fronting the public square. TV studios, a video production unit and other support facilities are ‘hidden’ from view below the main auditorium.
Directly opposite across the public square, is the youth church including a children’s centre and library. And completing the square, is the carpark to the east and the office space to the west.
The whole development will incorporate 20% renewable energy, and will use biomass boilers, rainwater harvesting for WC flushing and on-site irrigation. Environmental surveys were undertaken as part of the original masterplan incorporating an existing wetland site - retaining the natural habitat of existing local wildlife.