A RIBA competition winning design to create a new chapel for the Ripon Church of England theological college at Cuddesdon. The new building is located centrally within the campus of college buildings, which include a Grade II* listed building and structures built in the 1850s and later.
Built using a hollow block wall construction with reinforced concrete infill, the elliptical shape of the external skin is inherently very strong, allowing the external walls to be more than 10 metres high without the need for a restraint at the top.
The roof is supported by a grid of Glulam beams and columns, only taking lateral restraint from the perimeter walls. This allowed for a very delicate connection between the ceiling, timbers and the mullions of the clerestory. The lighting cables and steel connections are concealed within the 60mm thickness of the timber. This was achieved using steel rods, resin fixed into the ends of the timber with couplers and Allen head bolts to bolt the fabricated steel triangular connection blocks together. The Glulam structure was fabricated off site with elements craned and bolted into place.
Exposed fair faced concrete was used for the floor and benches, reducing the need for finishes and increasing thermal mass. The solid stone external wall perfectly suits its surroundings and creates a low maintenance facade.