New Chapel

Client: York St John University

The New Chapel was erected between 1966-67 to the designs of George Pace, the renowned York-based architect. Pace was essentially an ecclesiastical architect, who was often responsible for all design decisions on interiors and furnishings within his churches. He was essentially a follower of the Modern Movement, often employing an extensive use of concrete, frequently combined with brick.

The Chapel is a combination of brick and a reinforced concrete frame, sometimes surprisingly crude in its exterior finish. The shape of the Chapel is bold consisting of a symmetrical ‘Y’ shaped plan and tall mono-pitched roofs, with little or no expressed ornamentation. The concrete frame, presented at low level as a fascia band, is a typical Pace architectural device and incorporates the bold rainwater hoppers. The brick and concrete interior is perhaps aesthetically rather dour, but architecturally is full of interest.

Our proposals consist of three elements. An extension at the entrance to the Chapel to provide much needed accessible toilet facilities and enlarged lobby; glass and steel screens to separate off both north and south transepts; and minor works within the vestry to provide multi-faith washing facilities.

The accessible toilet extension aims to redress the visual imbalance between the existing single storey vestry wing and the entrance, and is to be built of matching concrete and brick. New windows will match in size, style and detail and the original mahogany glazed doorway is to be refurbished and re-used. The extension has been designed to match the original as closely as possible in scale, materials and overall character.

The glazed screens, will be made of steel frames to match the existing Chapel windows. These will allow a great degree of transparency and clarity between the two spaces by using a minimal amount of metal structure for the screens and pivoting doors. They also provide a contemporary, simple and uncluttered character to the area between the transepts and the nave.

The work is currently on site – summer 2018

Architecture | Creative Conservation | Heritage

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