Joinery work helps to transform St Luke’s Chapel

St Luke’s Chapel was built in 1865 and is Grade II listed. Planning permission to refurbish the chapel was granted in 2009, and included demolition of later additions in order to restore the setting of the building and convert it to an exhibition, performance and shared teaching space for the University.

Major refurbishment of the chapel included restoration of the roof and bell tower. The interior, which had been one large, empty hall, was enhanced to include a new vestibule housing toilets and a kitchenette, plus new insulation, lighting and audio visual systems.

The Joiners team was commissioned to create and install a wooden screen to conceal the new vestibule from the main auditorium. After producing a mock-up of the screen from design drawings, they built the screen in the Malthouse workshop over a period of ten weeks.

Blending perfectly with the original building

Crafted from high quality, sustainable East European oak, the screen was constructed in three sections, given a light-medium oak stain, hand finished and oiled. A ‘bullseye’ aperture was incorporated into the design of the central panel to house a projector behind the screen for showing presentations on the rear wall of the chapel. The screen was then transported to the chapel in kit form, where it was assembled and installed – a process which took two weeks. Glass for the doors to the vestibule was fitted on site.

St Luke's Screen

The oak screen stands about four metres high and conceals not only the vestibule area but also electrical equipment and heating elements, which sit on top of a false ceiling. It provides a very attractive natural partition that blends in perfectly with the original style of the building.

A set of bi-fold doors to separate a chair store from the conference area was later commissioned, and the joiners produced a design to match the screen. The doors were built at the workshop from the same oak, and installed on site in just three days. The team also built steps and an oak handrail rising from the ground floor up to the former pulpit at the east end of the chapel, and fitted oak skirting boards around the edge of the auditorium.

Complete restoration of bell yoke and wheel

Commented Graham Hooper, Joinery Manager: ‘Seeing the finished screen installed in the chapel was immensely satisfying. The joinery team has done a superb job: it looks as though it has been there for years’.

For more information about St Luke’s chapel, read our case study on the building refurbishment work here.

Published April 2016