The existing building on Cainscross Road was constructed in 1968, but by the end of the 20th century was already too small for its growing congregation. NPA were instructed in 2012 to begin designs for its replacement and eventually after seventeen iterations of the scheme opted for a conservation approach, whereby one wing was demolished to make space for a new chapel, while the original sacramental space was converted into the social space. This also had the benefit of orienting the new chapel east/west, which is preferred historically in the Christian faith.
The extensive use of Cross Laminated Timber was driven by three factors: the freedom to produce a form in which non orthogonal geometries could harmonise with structure as in nature, sustainability in carbon sequestration and the very restricted confinement of the site. The design process involved a great deal of client participation with visualisations and workshops, leading to physical models of a large scale (1:20). Once funding was assured, the detailed design work with Corbett Tasker involved digital 3D modelling and then input on fabrication for the CLT components, which were made in Munich.
In the 21st Century it is economically impossible to reproduce hand crafted buildings like the great cathedrals of Europe so we worked with a largely technology driven industry while attempting to give the same inner experience these buildings still allow us.
Design Team: Nic Pople, Serena Evans, Sophie Woodhatch, Muneeb Ali Khan, George Sinclair, Alex Wilford
Project Managers: Geoff Haslam, Sarah Udo-Affia of Local Agenda
Structural Engineers: David Tasker, Peter Corbett, Tom Bignell of Corbett & Tasker
Specialist 3D Modelling: Ryan Cable, James Bartlett
M&E Engineers: Josh Bullard, Jack Gorman of Hydrock
Acoustic Consultant: Max Reynolds of Mach Acoustics
Quantity Surveyor: Jack Jones, Michael Moss of Gardiner and Theobald
Drainage Consultant: Clive Onions
Contractor: Beard (Bristol). Contract Manager Sean Franks. Site Manager Tim Alloway
CLT Manufacture: Züblin
Photographs by Fernando Manoso-Borgas, George Sinclair & Nic Pople