Scott Whitby Studio renovates Nineteenth-century Westminster Chapel in London

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2022-11-27 06:00:31

Structure follow Scott Whitby Studio has accomplished a renovation of the Nineteenth-century Westminster Chapel in London, including a public social area and upgrading its worship corridor.

The chapel, which has been overhauled as a part of a long-term revitalisation mission, now options a big triple-tiered worship area with 1,500 seats, a restaurant and a social space.

Scott Whitby Studio has renovated Westminster Chapel in London

Previous to the renovation, the chapel was tough to entry and closed off from the general public, solely opening for Sunday companies. Scott Whitby Studio‘s scheme permits the constructing to be open to the general public all through the week.

“Once we first visited, the chapel appeared shut, and our essential process was to ensure it felt open and accessible seven days every week,” founding director Alex Scott-Whitby advised Dezeen.

Chapel with golden gates
Gold-coloured gates have been added to the doorway

Gold-coloured gates now mark the doorway to Westminster Chapel, with a filigree sample knowledgeable by the design of the unique church home windows.

“The design of the chapel was all about opening it as much as create a welcoming area for Londoners and guests alike,” mentioned Scott-Whitby.

“The gates fold away invisibly when not in use to open up a brand new public portico for the town,” he continued. “At night time, the lighting design allows the gates when closed to supply a present again to the town by making a heat golden glow over the steps.”

People outside Westminster Chapel by Scott Whitby Studio
The mission opens the constructing to the general public

After passing by the gates, guests enter a portico beneath three arches. Past it’s a room with terrazzo flooring that acts as a gathering, working, or eating area for the general public.

The cafe sits to the facet of this entrance space, separated from the chapel’s essential corridor by glazed timber partitions, which divide the inside with out limiting views.

Golden gate
The sample on the gates references the unique church home windows

Scott Whitby Studio hopes this new area will likely be used for varied actions whereas encouraging the general public to interact with the constructing.

“The primary engagement with the entrance of the constructing was when folks would use the steps to cease and eat their lunch, usually leaving their garbage behind,” defined Scott-Whitby.

“We needed to change this and so the primary intervention was to enhance the ‘entrance room’ in order that it may very well be utilized by the congregation and employed for different actions in the course of the week.”

Interior of London church renovated by Scott Whitby Studio
It comprises a big triple-tiered worship area

Previous to the renovation, Westminster Chapel’s worship corridor was darkish and entry was restricted by a sequence of lengthy pews.

“The pews put in in the principle area made it tough for disabled members of the general public to make use of the constructing and entry was by way of a protracted, circuitous route,” the architect defined.

Church interior
There’s a new stage on the entrance of the area

The studio remodeled the massive area right into a 1,500-seat, three-tiered multipurpose room by changing the pews with particular person chairs and including a brand new stage on the entrance of the area.

Further seating stretches throughout balconies on two ranges overlooking the corridor.

As a part of the mission, Scott Whitby Studio has additionally launched new acoustic panelling and a cork ground to Westminster Chapel’s essential corridor, designed to reinforce the sound high quality of performances.

In response to the studio, at 600 sq. metres, the cork ground is “believed to be one of many largest in Europe”.

Renovated Westminster Chapel interior by Scott Whitby Studio
It comprises 1,500 seats

Alongside the trendy additions, the studio has highlighted the unique options of the chapel, together with the detailed vents and columns.

“We made positive to work across the unique wrought iron columns inside the principle corridor, that are completely lovely sculptural objects in their very own proper,” mentioned Scott-Whitby.

“We additionally stored the Victorian hand-operated vents, which function these delicate little handles within the form of arms.”

Interior of Westminster Chapel by Scott Whitby Studio
The studio aimed to spotlight the unique options of the chapel

The renovation is the primary half of a bigger six-phase effort to renovate Westminster Chapel over the approaching years.

“The following stage will embrace eradicating an present bottleneck to the remainder of the constructing and creating carry entry to the upper ranges for the primary time within the chapel’s historical past,” director Scott-Whitby added.

Interior of Westminster Chapel by Scott Whitby Studio
A restaurant and social area have additionally been launched

“The following phases will proceed our quest to make a constructing that’s light-filled, welcoming and accessible for generations to return,” Scott-Whitby concluded.

Different chapels lately featured on Dezeen embrace an inverted-pyramid chapel in Portugal and a sculptural white chapel on a China seafront.

The images and video are by Jim Stephenson.



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