Sikh Gurdwara, Barking

Shortlisted for the 2023 RIBA London Awards

This iconic edifice is the new Barking Gurdwara, a place of worship and an inclusive community hub for members of the Sikh faith. The stunningly carved marble work of the exterior is articulated with an entrance tower crowned with a dome adorned with ornamental metal finials. Walking through the arched gateways with its intricately carved-gravity defying marble ceilings, visitors are transitioned through an experience unlike any that the industrial past of this site would have offered.


The building expresses the need for a recognisable visual narrative with challenge of providing age-appropriate resources, for a community which has evolved through three generations of life in East London. Whilst the exterior represents tradition, craft, culture and roots, the interior reaches out to embrace diversity, technology, exuberance and youth - with state of the art religious and secular facilities.


The mass of the exterior is contrasted with the light and airy feel of the interior, made possible by its long span steel-framed construction, which in turn presented opportunities for developing innovative techniques for fixing and securing the marble features and cladding. The building is equipped with environmentally conscious mechanical services, solar panels and low-energy lighting, combined with technologies which aid the communication of services, information, events and festivals across the globe.


Since its opening in May 2021, it has become a much-loved resource for all, and is fast acquiring a reputation locally and abroad for being a benchmark for community or religious buildings.



2-4 Sebastian Street, London EC1V 0HE | +44 (0)2076876001 | © Agenda 21 Architects Studio Ltd 2022