- Client: Conventus of our lady of Consolation, Stanbrook Abbey
- M&E Engineer: AECOM - Phase 1 , Energy Unique - Phase 2
- Construction Value: £7,500,000
- City: West Yorkshire
- Country: United Kingdom
Text description provided by the architects. Stanbrook Abbey is a new home for the Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation, a Benedictine community of nuns who devote their lives to study, work and prayer. Relocating from their old Victorian home in Worcestershire, the nuns’ contemplative way of life required spaces that were simple, tranquil and beautiful, or as they put it in their monastic vision brief – a place where they could ‘pray always’.
Located in the North York Moors National Park the new site was chosen by the nuns for its “special quality of silence and light” providing them with a peaceful setting for their contemplative life and far-reaching views over the Vale of York.
The project was completed over two phases. Phase I, completed in 2009, included 26 new private cells for the nuns along the southern edge of the site, shared kitchen and dining facilities and work rooms. Phase II, completed in 2015, involved the construction of the new Community Church and Chapel, the Chapter House and guest spaces.
Using a delicate palette of materials and innovative structural solutions we have created a set of spaces that are both inspiring in their visual connections to the surrounding landscape, and simple in their practical details.
Taking full advantage of natural light and views, the monastery relates closely to the surrounding undulating landscape. The Nuns’ brief also requested a modern monastery which was economic to run and ecologically sensitive in design.