London architect Denizen Works has won a contract to design a new floating church and "community hub" based on the Thames.
Denizen will collaborate with boat-builders Turks on the commission from The Diocese of London.
The 60-sq-m floating hub will ply London’s canal system, mooring at regeneration sites to develop links with the communities taking shape there under the London Mayor’s "Opportunity Areas", which are urban brownfield regeneration sites.
As a church, the hub will look to grow congregations in the communities with a view to finding a permanent home when critical mass is reached.
Influences on the design include "church organ bellows and the pop-up sleeping pods found in vintage VW camper vans".
In addition to its function as a church, the boat is designed with an adaptable interior to accommodate different activities, from parent and toddler groups to yoga classes.
The boat can adapt to its surroundings, partially collapsing to go under low bridges.
When moored, the boat will transform into an "illuminated beacon with its sculptural pop-out roof canopies", with the largest canopy will providing an internal space which can be used for both worship and cultural events.
The boat will contain translucent bellows, crafted from sail material which will provide a soft, ambient light during the day and act as a Chinese lantern at night, creating a warm, inviting glow to passers-by.
Images courtesy of Denizen Works