Sometimes the greenest thing to do is to adapt older buildings for updated uses, avoiding the waste that comes with demolition and the overall carbon footprint of bringing new materials in to build a whole new structure. Instead of tearing an integral part of the neighbourhood down, design studio Nikjoo converted an old chapel into an artist's contemporary live-work studio in south London.
Seen over at Dezeen, architect Alex Nikjoo explains how the design strove to keep the building's original layout and character as much as possible, including the beautiful trusses. Says Nikjoo:
The building was stripped back to its original form revealing features and details that had been covered through years of piecemeal extensions and additions. Restored using a palette of rich yet simple materials, the new interventions interweave with the existing fabric of the building.
By keeping the chapel's original layout, the scheme feels spacious and grand, with the kitchen, living and work spaces located in what used to be the nave. It's now a multifunctional space that can be used for producing large-format artworks, or for entertaining.
Behind the kitchen is what used to be the vestry; here is where the staircase going up to the office mezzanine is located. Further back is where the master suite, two guest bedrooms and a bathroom have been inserted.
The mezzanine is a warm, uplifting and well-lit space, thanks to the skylights and the use of woods like birch, pine and oak. Toward the back of the mezzanine is a huge glass wall that leads out to the rooftop terrace, which lends a bit of natural daylighting and outdoor respite.
From converted chapels, to bomb shelters, grain silos, windmills and factories, we're seeing all kinds of great adaptive reuse cases, showing that preserving and updating an old building into something new and different can be more interesting (and more 'green') than building from the ground up. To see more, check out Nikjoo.