Prolific British designer Tom Dixon temporarily transformed a 17th-century church into a creative space that offers much more than morning prayer service. Working in collaboration with the church’s vicar Andrew Baughen, Dixon converted the St. James Church in Clerkenwell into a co-working space and restaurant as part of London’s Clerkenwell Design Week that ran from May 24 to May 26. The addition of Dixon’s geometric bespoke furnishings and lighting fixtures gives the unique building a refreshing contemporary edge.
The motivation behind the project began with Baughen’s desire to make the church more available to the daytime residents and creative workforce of Clerkenwell, an area in central London. The temporary intervention also gave Dixon the opportunity to display his new lighting and furniture products against a stunning historic backdrop with soaring ceilings and huge stained glass windows.
“As the Church evolves and adapts to the new conditions of the 21st century, the opportunity of opening up to new audiences and unexpected collaborations becomes a necessity,” says Dixon. “For the design audience and the more permanent residents of Clerkenwell, we hope that a contemplative and spiritual space becomes more comfortable and accessible thanks to our small intervention.”
The most eye-catching of Dixon’s pieces are the silver-coated CURVE lights that hang like a chandelier in the church’s main space and offer a sharp contrast with the colorful stained glass windows. The designer’s easily recognizable geometric chairs and tables have been added to an upstairs co-working space, while other furnishings populate the area close to the altar. The chandelier, along with a few other furnishings, has been donated to the church as gifts.
Images via Tom Dixon