The call for the establishment of a mission for the French community in London came in 1861. Louis Auguste Boileau, an Architect and promoter of cast iron architecture transformed a former tourist attraction of Leicester Square into a new church. It was the first church built using cast iron in London, and was consecrated in June 1868. The mission included a hospital, an orphanage and two schools.
The original building was badly damaged in the war, and although reopened after extensive repairs, was finally rebuilt with the support of the French and British governments. The foundation stone was brought from the Cathedral of Chartres and laid on 31 May 1953. The architect was Hector Corfiato of Beaux Arts de Paris. The French Cultural Attaché René Varin encouraged the creation of a sacred space, which would honour France. He approached many eminent artists of the time (including Jean Cocteau and Dom Robert who all contributed to this most extraordinary place.
Over a period of four years we worked with the parish to replace a failing 1990s lighting scheme with a new programmable system which also included carefully relighting the art collection, aiding its long term conservation. The new lighting significantly enhances the presentation for of Notre Dame for worshippers and the many international visitors that come to see the spiritual home of the French community in the UK.