This long-abandoned London chapel is transformed into a glorious home

by Nitija Shastri Jan 31, 2019
The unique features of church architecture have always made news for creating awe-inspiring spaces that spark innovation. Sometimes these majestic structures fall out of use and into the hands of magicians we call, architects to weave a wand of restoration and transformation. Craftworks are no different. With a history of refurbishing old structures into modern marvels, the firm has created — Chapel — a 2422 sq ft family home carved from a derelict chapel. “Though it was never actually consecrated as a chapel, the unhallowed status became the protagonist for architectural intervention,” says Craftworks.

The facade is warm and inviting – constructed of bricks reclaimed from the existing chapel and the roof slate, reclaimed from locally demolished buildings. Around the house, a 500sqm gorgeous manicured garden, designed by award-winning landscapists Jane Brockbank Gardens creates a hidden sanctuary, continuing the faceted forms of the roof with weathered steel borders. Entrance steps create a place to momentarily rest in the sun whilst the internal staircase is wide enough to contemplate a book. “Our brief was to create a home which can readily adapt without alteration to encompass a family gathering, or simultaneously retreat to become singular and introverted.” “Materials are ascetic and contradictory in their quality so as to enrich and resonate with the emotional atmosphere,” says the firm.

Step inside, into the world — of pearlesque omniscience. With God in the details, the oyster-clad shell opens up to interiors which are respite with a polished plaster faceted ceiling structure with monolithic, carved out expression. The dramatic triangular roof lights employ plenty of natural light. “The inner volume is a pearly shell of waxed lime plaster and the floor is laid with extra wide lengths of bleached douglas fir, contrasting with the austere dark tones of the fumed oak joinery.”

Tread a few steps and you will notice contemporary hanging light, a private study with standalone vibrant chairs and a vaulted cosy fireplace that sparks conversation. Winding oak steps lead you to the sleeping quarters for privacy and comfortable siestas. What once was a house of worship, is now house to worship...
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