St Lukes Chapel Renovation was an exceptionally rewarding project for FMP. The client was very enthusiastic at design stage and from the offset we pulled together as a team to formulate the brief and address the sensitivities of implementing the design. This was a challenging project as the construction stage progressed whilst the building was occupied, and there was a requirement to ensure the works would have minimal impact on the residents.
St Luke’s prides itself in taking the latest thinking in care for the elderly. The project brief was to renovate the existing chapel which was outdated and to suit modern needs of the home. When researching for this project, we found that non-institutional environments characterised as having home-like or ‘enhanced’ ambience (with personalised rooms, domestic furnishings, natural elements) are associated with improved intellectual and emotional well-being as well as enhancing social interaction of the residents.
It was the intention of FMP to incorporate the chapel into the existing ‘streetscape’ scheme to the main entrance corridor at the home. A projecting timber canopy creates a welcoming entrance off the main corridor to the chapel.
We introduced volume to this chapel by raising the ceiling. A bay window overlooks a courtyard garden bringing the outdoors in. The connections to the natural world are evident in the soft landscaping outside and the materials chosen. In the interior, a curved stoned wall acts as a backdrop to the altar forming a connection with the stone water feature in the garden courtyard outside.
The tranquillity of the materials and colour scheme is in keeping with the reflective nature of the chapel. The restrained neutral palette synchronises the furniture, fabrics and flooring and evokes a sense of calm and relaxation in this contemplative space. The use of natural timber throughout from the timber structure at the entrance to the altar pieces continues the theme. The cross, hanging over the altar is made from an old whiskey cask and adds further character to the room. The ‘piece de la resistance’ is the sculptural form of altar which draws the eye to this focal point. The curved form of stone wall embraces its congregation in a metaphorical sense. It could be seen to symbolise the chaplain welcoming her flock.