St Paul’s ‘A New Heart For Bow’
Commercial & Public Access Highly Commended 2004
Client/Owner: Church of England
Architect: Matthew Lloyd Architects
Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
Main Contractor/Builder: Balfour Beatty
Wood Species: American Tulipwood, WBP Plywood
A community arts centre has been set within the nave of a church in London’s East End. This engaging intervention is in the shape of a boat or ark. supported on curving steel columns and clad with American tulipwood.
A difficult design problem pulled off with considerable skill, the judges say. The architect has taken great care to make maximum use of the potential space and to relate the design well to the existing fabric of the church, including all the timber vaulting and ribs.
A number of timbers were considered for the project. including green oak and cedar. but American tulipwood was chosen because an exceptional blonde hardwood was required. lts exquisite grain enhances the beauty of the boat. Almost every piece of wood was cut to a different size and pinned on to the plywood backing by Beamfast’s carpenters, whose workmanship is described as very high quality by the judges.
American tulipwood has a reputation as an impressive interior hardwood that can be formed and bent over long distances Property dried and processed, it does not bend, split, bow or warp. has been left unfinished so as not to alter its colour and character.