Remembering Chernobyl

Spheron Architects, Woodside Park, 2016


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Tunnel towards exhibition 

Joakim Boren     Download Original

  • Tunnel towards exhibition    
  • Tunnel Entrance    
  • Entrance to Remembering Chernobyl Exhibition    
  • Remembering Chernobyl Exhibition Space    
  • Belarusian Chapel History    
  • Belarusian Chapel images     
  • Remembering Chernobyl Exhibition Spac    
  • Belarusian Chapel Model     
  • External view of Remembering Chernobyl Exhibition    
  • Site Map    
  • Floorplan    
  • Tunnel Section    
  • Exhibition Section    
  • East Elevation    
  • South Elevation    
  • Tunnel working detail    
  • Concealed lighting detail    

A temporary exhibition as part of London Festival of Architecture 2016

Remembering Chernobyl was a temporary exhibition by Spheron Architects, taking place during the London Festival of Architecture 2016 and marking the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

The exhibition design was inspired by the heroic – and tragic – operation carried out by 10,000 Soviet coal miners following the reactor explosion. Visitors entered the exhibition through a pitch-black walkway, constructed from OSB boards against a typical suburban house in Woodside Park, north London. The 16-metre long passage created a tunnel approach that removed them from the bustle of London, and recreated something of the experience of the miners as they worked in dark, cramped conditions.

The tunnel led to a one-room display that explained the design of the Belarusian Memorial Chapel – designed by Spheron Architects and under construction opposite the exhibition. The chapel is a contemporary interpretation of traditional timber churches in Belarus, which was badly affected by Chernobyl.

The exhibition explained how 25 per cent of Belarus’ territory and 20 per cent of its population were affected by the disaster. Photographs by Belarusian photographer Yuriy Mikhed showed abandoned communities, and images of one contaminated town where some residents chose to remain. Other drawings and displays of historic wooden churches in Belarus set context for the design of the new church.

At the centre of the exhibition was a timber model of the new church, now completed and the first timber church to be built in London since the Great Fire in 1666. The model, lit from within, stands at the heart of an otherwise bleak exhibition as a ray of hope and an expression of faith by the Belarusian community in the face of disaster.


  • Begun: May 2016
  • Completed: Jun 2016
  • Floor area: 46m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £4,680
  • Funding: Private, Donations from the Association of Belarusians in Great Britain
  • Tender date: May 2016
  • Procurement: Letter of Intent
  • CO2 Emissions: -kg/m2/year
  • Address: 39 Holden Road, Woodside Park, N128HS, United Kingdom

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