St. Peter’s Church | Walworth

The crypt of this magnificent church by Sir John Soane, the celebrated Georgian architect, perhaps best known for his work on the Bank of England, was painstakingly restored and re-planned to provide a Learning, Arts and Community Centre. Known as the InSpire Centre, the crypt now includes a digital arts and media centre, an IT suite, crèche, conference and performance spaces, a café and meeting rooms; maximising use of the dramatic brick vaulted subterranean architecture of the crypt.

St. Peter’s Church was built between 1823 and 1825 as part of the Church Building Act of 1818 and is the first church that Soane designed. The church was altered in 1888 and was subject to reconstruction works in 1953 following bomb damage during the Second World War.

The crypt of the church was sensitively restored and converted for modern practical use without compromising the fabric of the historic building. The Grade I listed church is the last building attributed to Soane without alteration and therefore demanded extra special care and attention. In conjunction with a lift, the formal vestibule areas, previously neglected but a fine example of Soane’s architecture, have been brought back into life.

Contract Sum: £1.2m

Architect: Russell Hanslip Associates

Structural Engineers: Ellis and Moore

Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: Carmel Building Services

Main Contractor: Wallis Special Projects (Kier Group)

Stone and Brick Cleaning: Stone Restoration Services