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Soley Mews Chapel Conversion

This Grade II listed 2,000 square feet former chapel to the House of Retreat in Islington, was built in the 1890s with soaring vaulted ceilings and beautiful stained glass windows but had now fallen into disuse.

Plans existed for a one bedroom, ground floor only conversion which did not suit the client's lifestyle requirements so we were asked to provide an alternative design which allowed for more private bedrooms whilst retaining and respecting the open layout and character of the building.

Located in a tight courtyard with only a few feet of clearance to other tall buildings to the south it was important to allow natural light into the whole building whilst providing private bedroom areas.

Floor plans, building elevation and section drawings were brought into a 3D modelling environment in order to create an accurate 3D model of the existing building. Planning data and photo references were used to model the surrounding buildings to allow shadow studies of the building internals to inform the design.

A freestanding element was placed in the centre of the chapel, with the private bedroom areas lofted above the living areas on structural columns and accessed by a sculpturally strong double-decker staircase. This allowed for an internal subdivision of space whilst allowing light to flood into all areas of the building and retaining the original character of the grand, open chapel hall.

The client was now able to see representative views of their future home from any angle and in any lighting condition, day or night. Even furniture choices and internal finishes and colours could be modelled to ensure the client was happy to proceed with the design at which point traditional plans were produced in order to apply for planning permission.

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