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Chapel of St Albert the Great / Simpson & Brown

  • 01:00 - 7 December, 2013
Chapel of St Albert the Great / Simpson & Brown
Chapel of St Albert the Great / Simpson & Brown, © Chris Humphreys
© Chris Humphreys

© Chris Humphreys © Chris Humphreys © Chris Humphreys © Chris Humphreys + 26

  • Structural Engineer

    Elliott & Company
  • Services engineer

    Irons Foulner
  • Collaborators

    George Berry & Partners
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Chris Humphreys
© Chris Humphreys

Text description provided by the architects. The new Chapel of Saint Albert the Great, in George Square, Edinburgh, was completed in 2013. Built for the University Chaplaincy and friary for The Order of Preachers this new chapel is situated in the garden of one of the Category A listed buildings, replacing the old chapel which was located on the upper floor of the adjoining townhouses.

© Chris Humphreys
© Chris Humphreys

The new garden chapel not only provides a space for peace and worship, but also increases capacity and improves accessibility. A new access was created from Middle Meadow Walk, and, along with the siting, form and appearance of the building, the chapel is announced to the many that use this popular route.

© Chris Humphreys
© Chris Humphreys

The choice of materials and building form were important factors in the design of the building, chosen to achieve the peaceful space required of a chapel, and to connect it to its natural setting of the townhouse garden and city park beyond. Four tree-like Corten Steel columns support a curved, oak-lined timber roof over the altar and sanctuary spaces. A thick masonry wall, constructed out of large clay blocks clad with sandstone, interprets the historic boundary between the townhouses and provides a solid mass and weight to the building form. Angled windows are formed within this wall to allow light in and also to maintain the focus towards the sanctuary, providing only oblique views of the garden.  A combination of clerestory glazing, ventilator windows and a lightwell with opening rooflights provides both natural light and ventilation. Daylight is introduced by mirrors and filtered through continuous oak slats along the length of the chapel.

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Cite: "Chapel of St Albert the Great / Simpson & Brown" 07 Dec 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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