2015 has seen me start a new series - Sacred Spaces - in which I aim to document the architecture of Great Britain's religious buildings.
Im not a religious person, but have always had an interest in churches - I lived next door to one for 10 years, which might have something to do with it - but in terms of the diversity of architecture on show, I think that there could be something really interesting to be gained by looking at a cross section of religions, denominations and eras.
First up is Worth Abbey, situated at Turners Hill in Surrey. The Abbey is home to 25 Roman Catholic monks, who follow the Rule of St Benedict - which was established some 1,500 years ago. Theres a school attached to the Abbey as well, which ensures the place is well used and frequented regularly - a nice change from almost every other location I have been so far.
As for the building itself, it was designed by the Catholic Architect Frances Pollen and built between 1964 and 74 and is considered to be the finest example of 60s church architecture in the UK. It has had a recent facelift with some interiors remodelling by Thomas Heatherwick. As such, it has a very unique feel - with the definite 60s aesthetic being complimented superbly by the stunning modern wood and stone touches added by Heatherwick. It does feel a bit like a spaceship inside, with the huge central shaft providing a dramatic well of light over the new Heatherwick alter...and the exterior certainly has a hint of the extra terrestrial to it as well. Or maybe its just me. Anyway, images below.