The Old Chapel

Tuckey Design Studio

The Old Chapel is an example of adaptive reuse that both sensitively restores historic built fabric and equips for new use, enhancing quality of living. Located in an area of outstanding natural beauty in West Devon, the former chapel is now a spacious family home with environmental upgrades and dramatically improved thermal performance.

The clients wanted the chapel as their permanent home and shared the studios belief in utilising what was already present. The project embodies a desire to peel away rather than add unnecessarily. The early 20th century kirk was retained, with cumbersome internal interventions from the 70s and 90s stripped back to expose a raw and rich material palette. Rockwool insulation was used throughout the ceilings and floors, while double glazing and new apertures were implemented. These additional windows retain the heat from the chapels large south facing elevation, accommodate for cross ventilation and allow all rooms to be naturally lit. Solar panels and an air source heat-pump harness energy for the home. During the retrofit process elements were restored and repurposed on site, original floorboards for example, and ‘new’ materials were sourced from a reclamation yard, such as the kitchen worktop, shutters, tiling, plywood for the staircase and timbers. The result is a building that is settled within its prominent site and more comfortable with its newfound guise. Lightweight bespoke joinery and multifunctional rooms lend the interior to be adapted and evolve with family life over time.