• Architecture
  • Arts

LSO St Luke's, Islington


When looking for a rehearsal space and new home for their music education programme, the London Symphony Orchestra discovered St Luke’s – a Grade I listed church designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor and John James. It was in a poor state of repair and on English Heritage’s list of most important buildings at risk.

Our challenge was to carefully restore its heritage whilst providing cutting edge facilities for the orchestra. Externally, we focused on restoration, only adding a new roof and artists’ entrance on the site of the old vestry. Within, an entirely new interior was constructed. The volume of the church forms the main rehearsal, education and performance space, which has become much loved by the orchestra and other performers. Below, the previously unsafe crypt was rebuilt to house a café, and extensions were excavated under the churchyard to create space for practice rooms, offices, plant and visitor facilities.

For more details, read our Project Story.

Project Details:

Providing a new home for a world class orchestra in a beautifully restored Hawksmoor church.

Client: The St Luke Centre Management Company

Construction Value: £9.7m

Completion: 2003

Location: Islington


  • Civic Trust Awards 2004: Winner
  • British Construction Industry Awards 2004, Best Building, Conservation Category: Winner
  • Civic Trust Access Award 2004: Recipient
  • Islington Access Awards 2004, Best Builders: Winner
  • Georgian Group Awards 2004, 'Reuse of a Georgian Building': Highly Commended
  • ADAPT Access Award 2003: Recipient

Image: Matthew Weinreb