Elated to have achieved planning this week, The Old Chapel project is the readaptation of a chapel for a family in South Devon. The proposal aspires to reinstate the original vaulted volume by peeling away the extrinsic layers added in the 1990’s. The new extension and interior treatment of the newly opened first floor is sympathetic to the building’s historical past.
Natural, earthy materials have been woven into the existing fabric in the ground floor. A muted and agrarian colour palette bestow a quietly robust sensibility inspired by Turner’s “Three Seascapes” c.1827. Reclaimed brick pavers and mottled terracotta tiles speak to the hue of the bricks that make up the external walls. Embracing the proximity to the coast, each bedroom has its own access to the garden and courtyard space.
Towards the first floor where the ceiling once concealed the apex and timber roof structures, we have proposed to strip away the intermediary layers and reveal the carcass of the building as a vast network of timber roof structures. Fixed triangular glazing on the east elevation illuminate the living space from above, allowing light to filter softly down the walls and through the airing gaps between the beams.
An additional living space has been designed using the existing attic area above the kitchen. Lead by the undulating and cocooning geometries of the old structures, the timber staircase connecting the two spaces unifies two ages in the continuation of the curved geometry of the arched rafters, and provides a break in the traditional symmetrical layout of a chapel. There is a playfulness in the form of the bookcase & inglenook fireplace, which reach up towards the large pitched volume and integrate within the rhythm of the rafters above it. The kitchen adds another level of solidarity with a stone sink and brass taps, providing a focal point at the west end of the chapel.