Lumen United Reformed Church by Theis and Khan Architects



London-based Theis and Khan Architects have completed the renovation of Lumen United Reformed Church in London, UK.


Located on Tavistock Place in Bloomsbury, the project involved adding an entrance, offices, toilets, a cafe and courtyard garden to the 1960s church.


A conical room lit from above, referred to by the architects as the 'sacred space', divides the cafe from the main congregational area.


The church will be used by the local multi-faith community, as a creche and space for leisure activities.

Photos by Nick Kane.

The following information is from Theis and Khan Architects:


London practice Theis and Khan Architects has just completed a redesign of the United Reformed Church in Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury.


The brief was to bring the church into the 21st Century and open it up to the local community. The result is a simple, honest, serene place of worship composed of a series of neutral spaces for use by people of all faiths and beliefs.


The Sacred Space is the pivotal space within the church building dividing the new café from the main congregation space. It’s lit by a single source of light 11m above floor - the light penetrates through the roof and draws the gaze upwards towards the sky. The white render and changing light gives the space a pure and elemental feel and imbues it with a peaceful, religious aura.


Working with art consultants Modus Operandi, Lumen United Reformed Church commissioned two artists for new artworks in the church. The church itself opens in the New Year. Café and night shelter will be operation in the Spring.

Update 17.12.08:  Theis and Khan Architects have sent us the following image of the 'sacred space' in the church.


Posted on Friday December 12th 2008 at 2:10 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • K. Rimane

    beautiful space, brilliant proportions and great choice of colors too.

  • Indi

    Sweet is an appropriate description. The spaces are nicely scaled , simple easily imagineable as inhabited even in the classic ’empty’ photographs. the ‘sacred space’ is intriguing if a little under explained by the photo. What happens in it? Singing, liturgy, meditation, silent prayer, and how many people can fit into it?

  • jon

    ah now i know what it is. been cycling pass it eversince its been building!

  • Partick Bateman

    Beautiful… its enough to make me religious

  • Richie

    Looks very nicely done. It’d be good to get some more photos of the space inside\outside the conical object (sacred space?) to get a better perspective on it..

  • Mario

    i just wonder how u people out of 5 pics (not very illustrative of an overal composition) call this for a beautiful, amazing, …. project.
    But again, maybe its just me.

  • Ibram

    nice photos!!

  • waseem

    It’s really beautiful,
    I liked the window so much .

  • AZM

    Excellent , Cool design & Colour scheme!!

  • patrick

    The project is featured in the current issue of the Architects Journal. This gives a fuller description of the scheme together with drawings.

  • Tom

    A very beautiful building. So pure, spiritual, minimal and functional. A welcome return to Modernism in this new climate of austerity.

  • Luxury Larry

    Nice but I somehow prefer my church the way it is. This look like a space of an office. And I cetainly do not want to go back on Sunday!

  • David Johns

    The 5th image is the main worship space, I’ve never been to an office that looks like this?

    I think that this is is a very thoughtful and extremely sensitive scheme, a welcome relief from the iconic architecture of recent years.

  • Real furniture designer

    Tadao Ando has designed churches that get away from the traditional ‘church’ look and feel. his designs are very modern, and uses mostly concrete and wood for his structures.