The Chapel is a Grade 1 listed building and an iconic landmark, on La Grande Route de St Jean. Having become redundant as a place of worship, permission had been previously granted for conversion of the Chapel into a single family home, as part of a larger scheme to renovate the adjoining buildings and to build new dwellings at the rear of the site.
Godel Architects were appointed to devise an alternative design, applying a more practical, development-led approach, whilst following the principles of the previously approved scheme. The main challenge was to meet the requirements of local Historic Building Laws, whilst also providing practical living spaces, using technically feasible construction methods to bring the envelope to current thermal efficiency standards.
This was ultimately achieved by creating a number of pod rooms within the vaulted space, which is very dramatic – almost theatrical. It is designed so as to focus on the restored organ pipes from the original chapel, viewed from the opposite side of the building, as one enters it. This main space houses intimate enclosures and rooms, including four bedrooms. A single, central, open-plan living area was formed, with multi-level living and entertaining areas, providing spatial separation, whilst allowing visual connectivity with other parts. These are orientated and designed as platforms, so as to enjoy the views out over the surrounding fields.
At basement level, the spaces were enlarged to house a cinema room with adjacent utility rooms and direct access to a private garden. Key architectural features were retained, including all of the external window and door openings, the balcony seating area, access stairs and the original ceiling, which was faithfully restored.
The result is a dramatic, exciting home, full of delightful and sometimes surprising architectural and historic details and dynamic spatial features.