St John’s Camberwell Façade Unveiled

The first of two newly designed façades for the organ of St John’s, Camberwell was unveiled on Saturday 12 December. A appreciative audience of parishioners and guests were treated to a brief history of the organ, along with a fantastic slideshow compiled by Fr John Baldock, and Ian Wakeley before being treated to a special unveiling of the new St John’s Camberwell façade.

Designed and handcrafted in collaboration with our associated artisans, Mark Nobel and Tim Gilley, the new façade is inspired by the 1957 Louis Williams rendered tracery in the rear west window of St John’s.

Mark drew his inspiration for the initial design concept from the negative spaces in Williams’ window.  The leaf shapes are now rendered as positive solid elements to create a well integrated backdrop for the spotted metal “forest of pipes” that stand in front. The new facade also pays homage to the Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Tree of life” design.

St John's Camberwell façade close up of spotted metal pipes in beautiful lighting

A “forest of pipes”

Applying design approaches from latest contemporary organ cases of Europe, the pipes are laid out with a degree of asymmetry, marrying well with the organic feel of the tree of life. Our contemporary approach lends itself to greater interpretive scope to anyone viewing the façade. A less prescriptive design sparks the imagination of an observer, breathing life in to the concept. One observer at the unveiling remarking “it’s like a forest of pipes!”.

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