The unique appearance of the Lantern

fallen wood wool tile fragments 2013






Fragments of the fallen wood wool tiles in 2013

During the project Development Stage, much work has been done to better understand the nature of the historic wood wool panels which line the inner face of the lantern, giving a unique appearance which is a central part of the character of the interior of the church.

As far as can be determined, the use of wood wool in such a way to achieve a textured, two-tone decorative finish in a post-war building is unique. Prior to the installation of the mosaics by Charles Lutyens, the lantern ceiling and blue painted frames to the structural glazing below provided the main source of colour against the interior backdrop of purple-grey fair-faced brickwork, insitu cast reinforced concrete and neutral tones to concrete paviours where other decorated elements such as flat acoustic panelled ceiling and columns to the aisle were picked out in
white emulsion.

The BRE (Building Research Establishment) have carried out monitoring and testing to better understand the physical properties of the material itself, and the particular environmental conditions to which it is subjected.
The results of these studies have informed the proposals for repair contained within the Schedule of Proposed Works