Baroque and Roll
You know you really have achieved celebrity status as an architect if you are still a household name three centuries after your death. Or your surname is adopted for a revival of your architectural style a couple of hundred years posthumously. Sir Christopher Wren and the Wrenaissance. St Paul’s Cathedral in the City, central London, may be his most famous ecclesiastical building but at the opposite end of the scale spectrum is Boone’s Chapel in Lee, southeast London.
Or at least Boone’s Chapel is attributed to Sir Christopher Wren. It certainly exhibits many of the trademarks of the master: chunky modillion cornices; boldly rusticated quoins; scroll key blocks; a rather delicate timber cupola crowning its pitched roof; and more oeils de boeuf than a farmer’s field. Beefcake architecture. A study in red (bricks and rooftiles). Originally part of an almshouses complex, Boone’s Chapel has found a new use that is staggeringly appropriate. It’s become an architects’ office.