St John At Hackney is getting a £5million facelift, with work set to begin later this year and last for around 18 months. Several highly respected architects and designers are said to be involved, including Es Devlin OBE, known for collaborating with Beyoncé, amongst other things.
The London church and music venue has a strong reputation in the capital’s electronic music community after staging some memorable gigs and parties over the years. Laurel Halo, Floating Points, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Perc, Shackleton, and Tim Hecker have all graced the pulpit in the past, in addition to major names from the pop and rock worlds.
“We’re only going to do this once so it has to be special,” Reverend Al Gordon is quoted as saying in the Hackney Gazette. “If someone has thought carefully about a space you walk into, you feel valued. I’m really passionate about this. With all the pressures of social change and gentrification we want to really be a presence in the community.“
Once the renovation has been completed St John At Hackney will be able to host significantly more music events, which is clearly a positive, not least considered the number of venues that have closed in London in recent years. It’s hoped that the agent of change principle, which has backing from the UK government, will help to protect performance spaces going forward, if and when it comes into law, with the city’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, long-since pledging to do more to safeguard creative addresses.