Ormesby, Middlesbrough TS7
St Gabriel’s is a mainstream example of 1970s Catholic church building in which the worship area is made square to ensure maximum visibility and audibility.
The church is oriented north so all directions here are liturgical.
The core of the church building is a square worship area surrounded by peripheral spaces. The framework of the building is defined by four, inward-pointing laminated wooden trusses. These are linked horizontally by (no doubt) steel beams which support a series of clerestory window strips beneath a cement-tiled low pyramidal roof. The peripheral spaces have flat roofs, are brick faced and have some floor-to-ceiling glazing: they include the high altar recess, confessional (north), porch (west), Lady Chapel (northeast) and Sacred Heart Chapel (southeast).
Inside, the main worship space is covered by a large pyramid roof with a series of prominent purlins linking the main laminated trusses. On all four sides there are clerestory window strips which are key in defining the character of the building and are the main source of lighting it: in the north, south and west ranges there is criss-cross leading (as at St Andrew’s, Teesville) with light yellow, blues, red and light pink glazing. The east clerestory is more grid-like and has emblems of the vine, lamb, wheatsheaf and a chalice. Other illumination comes from floor-to-ceiling windows in the peripheral spaces. In the north wall is a series of plain, coloured glass panels with lurid green orange and blue glass panels. The east walls of the chapels, altar recess and Blessed Sacrament Chapel have facings of roughly-cut grey granite blocks.
Architect: Not established
Original Date: 1975
Conservation Area: Yes
Listed Grade: Not Listed