We were invited to develop proposals for a new landmark residential tower on the former site of the Hawksmoor designed church, St. John Horsleydown, a short walk from Tower Bridge. It also needed to incorporate a rejuvenated headquarters for the incumbent City Mission Charity.
Our proposals took inspiration from Hawksmoor’s interest in the iconography of commemorative structures, such as columns and obelisks. At Castle Howard, Hawksmoor stated about the placement of some small obelisks that ‘I would not let them stand upon ye cold ground’. And so he placed them raised up on pedestals.
The spire of St. John, Horselydown comprised of a column placed upon a plinth or belfry, as many of Hawksmoor’s churches did.
We propose that the building is also seen as an obelisk or monument in the park landscape; the residential accommodation elevated upon a plinth with the mission’s offices as its base, recalling the lost church’s architecture.