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Can a church display contemporary art to attract a new audience and redefine its place in the community?

Our proposal to reinvigorate St Martin's church takes advantage of the large volume within to show large pieces of artwork and installations that would not otherwise be displayed in Brighton. By transforming the adjacent church hall into an accompanying cafe, bookshop and ticket office, the scheme allows for the retention of all current uses without inducing any major building work.

Introducing large scale artworks or installations into the space need not prevent the usual running of the church. On the contrary, it will encourage new ways of interpreting the spectacular space. Not only will the incoming pieces encourage the exploration of larger mediums in Brighton, but, as with the Turbine Hall, will inspire compelling responses to the historically significant context. As well as attracting new visitors, the congregation would be able to interact with the space in a new way. The programme of installations would bring these magnificent features to a new audience, and carry the church into 21st century Brighton.

St. Martin’s Church
Location: Brighton, UK
Type: Cultural
Size: 1250m2
Client: St. Martin’s Church
Status: Competition
Date: 2018
Project Team: Alex Smith, Maegan Icke, Michael Waters