Κυριακή, 11 Μαρτίου 2012

St Pancras Church Garden, City of London with Street Scene, City of London Corporation (invited competition, first place, due to be completed early 2012)

Sketch of Pew Species
To achieve this organic, overgrown furniture, we have designed a basic system of organisation – a kind of irregular herringbone that wiggles around the trees and planting – that will be realised in collaboration with historic carvers creating the crafted pew-like qualities. In amongst the overgrown furniture are diamond shaped beds from which the existing trees and new plants burst forth, maintaining the woodland atmosphere.
Image of Proposal
Image of Proposal
In envisaging this proposal, we carried out research into the history of the site in order to play on and extend the existing narrative. We were so enamoured by the site’s unusual boast as a space left almost entirely untouched since medieval London crowded around it, we felt this development should somehow hark back to those times. The narrative we imagined can be read in full to your left. Some relevant pieces of history are as follows:
Blue Plaque on site
Blue Plaque on site

 
St Pancras church probably existed by the late 11th century. In medieval London, the church stood on the corner of Soper Lane and Needlers Lane (known as Pancras Lane after the 17th century). Both Soper lane and St. Pancras church suffered considerable damage during the Great Fire of 1666. After the fire, Soper lane was widened and straightened and renamed Queen street in honour of Catherine of Braganza. The church was not rebuilt, although the space it occupied continued to be used as a burial ground until 1853. The parish was united with that of St. Mary le Bow.
Saint Pancras
Saint Pancras
The church is the only one in the City ever to be dedicated to St Pancras. St Pancras was said to have been beheaded on 12th May 304 at the age of 14 for refusing to perform a sacrifice to the Roman Gods. He is sometimes known as one of the Ice Saints or Cold Gardeners: saints venerated on the 12th, 13th and 14th of May at a time of year that commonly brings a cold snap from the north. He is the patron saint of children, is invoked against cramp, false witness, headache and perjury. Gregory of Tours calls him the avenger of perjuries and says that God by perpetual miracles, visibly punished those swearing false oaths in the presence of his relics. It is believed he is buried in the church bearing his name in Rome. Some of his remains were brought to England and employed as a kind of truth serum as part of evangelization of the country.
St Pancras Church Remains
St Pancras Church Remains
Today, below the surface of St Pancras Churchyard are the remains of the medieval church and its associated burials. The site was partly excavated by the Guildhall Museum in 1963, at which time the burials appear to have been removed. Remains of the church itself lie quite close to the surface below the modern churchyard and as such any development should not have an impact on or disturb the remains.
Image of Proposal

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