- Oct 1955-Nov 1964 (Creation)
Level of description
Content and Structure
Scope and content
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Name of creator
The Church of St Charles's replaced an existing church on a prominent but difficult site in Kelvinside Gardens. It was planned for 900 people and incorporated a spacious sanctuary, two side altars, two shrines, a baptistry, sacristies, choir gallery and tower. It was opened 31 Jan 1960.
The church was sited between the existing presbytery and Wilton Lane, having its main entrance at the top of the steps in Kelvinside Gdns East, and is entered via a small forecourt bounded by the baptistry, the east front of the Church and boundary wall of the existing presbytery. A side entrance is provided from Kelvinside Gdns, via paved & planted piazza, entered by a flight of steps under an 80 ft free-standing tower.
The church takes the form of a tall, apsidal ended nave with low side chapels, a projecting top-lit baptistry and detached circular sacristy. A gallery taking the form of a cantilevered platform encloses a spacious glazed narthex.
Both internally and externally, the building derives its character from the dramatic use of natural materials, the columns and the ceiling being exposed concrete. The form of subtly vaulted ceiling is brought out by the fine detailing of the concrete and the deliberate exploitation of the shuttering board marks.
The interior is enhanced by the striking and liberal use of sculpture, the stations of the cross taking the form of a frieze of approximately 72 three feet high, strongly modelled terracotta figures. The sanctuary lamp is supported by a 5ft bronze angel. The crucifix is also of bronze incorporationg in addition to the figure Jesus, the figures of Mary and St John.
Construction of the church proceeded in 2 stages, the entrance end of the nave being constructed first, and then the existing wooden church was demolished and the sanctuary end of the church constructed. During the course of construction, 97 piles were driven, some of which reached a depth of 53ft before striking solid ground.