Religion and Place in Tower Hamlets: a creative education project by the Building Exploratory

Click on the buildings to find out more about the project, the schools involved and the artists

Religion and Place in Tower Hamlets is an innovative project exploring research by English Heritage into the architecture of 167 religious buildings. Using the Building Exploratory’s unique teaching and learning methods, the research has been made accessible through an artist-led schools project, printed and digital resources and an exhibition.

Religion and Place is a unique and timely project, encouraging engagement with religious heritage. It offers an innovative opportunity for learning about religious beliefs and practice in one of the country’s most culturally diverse boroughs.

Read more about English Heritage's involvement in the Places of Worship research project.

Schools and Artists

The project began with a unique experience for five artists and 150 Tower Hamlets secondary school pupils, facilitated by the Building Exploratory. Ten faith buildings were selected from the 167 buildings included in the English Heritage research. The ten buildings selected covered a range of faiths including different Christian denominations, Judaism, Islam and Sikhism allowing the students to meet and work with members of faiths different to their own.

Through workshops and building visits the artists and students were challenged in their understanding of the faiths practiced in the buildings they visited. They learned new creative skills and used these techniques to develop their artistic and personal responses to the buildings and their users. The artists then interpreted the students’ responses through three-dimensional artworks called faith chests.


In addition to the ten faith chests, the Building Exploratory has produced a printed map and a booklet celebrating the schools project. This website allows the experience of the students and artists involved in the project and the artworks they have produced to be seen and experienced by a wide audience.

The map and the booklet are available at no cost. Contact The Building Exploratory for more information.

The Building Exploratory is looking forward to continuing and expanding its work on religious buildings over the coming year.