Stroud Christian Community Chapel

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Location – Stroud

Client – The Christian Community

Architect – Nicolas Pople Architect

Structural engineer – Corbett & Tasker

Main contractor – Beard

Joinery & wood supplier – ZÜBLIN Timber GmbH

Species – spruce and fir (Germany)

The chapel follows the Christian Community's design guidance for new churches: symmetry, lighting and movement along an east-west axis with the internal walls and roof being, paradoxically, calm but lively. The design is inspired by mediaeval cathedrals, where the internal form is derived from a perfect fusion of ecclesiastical function and structural efficiency. The project uses CLT panels or 'folded plates' to create a pure, elegant internal form. Walls flow into the ceiling with no downstand beams. The structural folded plates are elegantly proportioned and allow the smooth flow of forces from the vaulted ceiling to the ground. The load is shared with an arrangement of glulam ribs concealed above the CLT panels. The timber vault is dramatically highlighted by distinctively shaped side windows. The unique shape was developed in close collaboration with an acoustician.