|St Joseph's handy for the shops|
BREEZING INTO BRACKNELL
It was a lovely sunny afternoon in mid September as Rosie and I entered the Borough of Bracknell. Our specific purpose was to visit Point Royal.
Our destination lay just outside the town centre in area called Easthampstead.
And there it was on a rising piece of open ground, flanked by trees. Bathed in sunlight it looked like a pagoda.
Designed by Arup Associates, 1960 – 4, Point Royal comprises 17 stories of concrete loveliness and painted cream providing 102 flats. It sits in a shallow bowl of concrete, underneath this is parking for cars.
Nikolaus Pevsner (Buildings of England: Berkshire published 1966) described Point Royal as ”one outstanding job” adding “It calls for four or five more of an identical design”. Odds on that if four or five more had been built it would have attracted the attention of 1980’s demolition teams and guardians of prettiness and picturesque.
Rosie and I eventually made our way into the town centre. We got shhu’d out of the shopping precinct in Princess Square however the girls in Starbucks welcomed Rosie (and I). We sat outside with my drink; across the street (Stanley Road) was an ecclesiastical flight of fancy. We looked out onto the Church of St Joseph the Worker.
Built in 1961 – 2 with an A-shaped west end. In the churchyard to the right is a free-standing openwork steel cross twenty two feet high, made in London and transported to the site in one piece. Architectsfor this lovely church were Clifford Culpin and Partners.
Shop for God; St Joseph’s is a wholesome example of church-building ideas around 1960 and was influenced by the architect’s visit to Scandinavia in 1956.
Full story of the church is told wonderfully right here