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Design Engine reveals Winchester chapel plans

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Design Engine has revealed plans to extend and renovate the University of Winchester’s Victorian Chapel

Originally built in 1880, and then extended in 1927, the chapel will be restored and renovated as part of Design Engine’s masterplan for the University’s campus.

The £900,000 project includes a new side chapel which will be constructed to the north of the existing building.

Described as a ‘jewel’, the 200m² side chapel will be timber-clad and also features bespoke perforated gold-coloured metal panels.

The project, which celebrates the chapel’s 175th anniversary, is set to complete in September 2015.

Design Engine Winchester chapel

The architect’s view

Over the decades the growth of the university campus has encroached on the space around the existing Victorian chapel. The universities masterplan will in the future release the site, replacing existing outdated buildings and retaining walls with new teaching spaces and landscaped terraces. However in the short term the width of any extension is limited to about 3m, with adjacent buildings only 5-6m away. This in itself was not a major issue as many side chapels and Lady chapels are often narrow in plan but tall in section, where a fine balance between volume and intimacy is achieved. Our focus has been an empathetic response to the gothic revival building where its connection, form and materiality seem both intuitive and exciting.

Our solution is a pitched roof structure that mirrors that of the existing building and allows light to penetrate into the perimeter exterior spaces. The ridge over-sails the existing building eaves line creating a clerestory window that provides both light and ventilation at high level.  The join between the original structure and the new extension is expressed with a recessed seam forming an accessible gutter in section.

To respond to the site edge the plan of the side chapel is tapered. This gives additional width to the chapel space that can be entered either from a discrete recessed north door or via the exiting chapel interior.This plan form creates a twist in the pitched roof bringing an intriguing geometric dynamic to the new addition.

Design Engine Winchester chapel

Project data

Location University of Winchester
Type of project chapel refurbishment and extension
Client University of Winchester
Architect Design Engine Architects
Structural engineer Paul Tanner Associates
M&E consultant Robertson Cartwright Design
Quantity surveyor Evolution 5
Lighting consultant Chris Reading & Associates
Main contractor R V Dart & Son
Funding University of Winchester
Tender date January 2015
Start on site date March 2015
Completion date September 2015
Contract duration 6 months
Gross internal floor area 200m2
Form of contract and/or procurement JCT Prime Cost Contract 2011
Total cost £900,000

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