Temple Lodge in Hammersmith, a home to the London Christian Community for over 50 years, has recently undergone a radical transformation. A dramatic cross-laminated timber 'box-within-a-box' structure has been added to the rear of the existing Grade II listed building to provide a new chapel. The layout takes advantage of the twin-wall format to minimise acoustic issues, facilitate natural ventilation techniques and enable the provision of an inconspicuous high-level triforium walkway, which also allows the entry of natural daylight at high level. The choice of a pre-formed 'flat-pack' timber panel solution was driven largely by the need to minimise disruption to Temple Lodge's many ongoing activities, and enabled the geometrically-complex, self-finished structure to be created in under four weeks.
A gem of a project, this modern take on a historic building takes full advantage of 3D modelling techniques to define the complicated geometry and inform the manufacturing process of the structural timber panels, allowing quick and trouble-free assembly on site. The design also makes cunning multiple uses of structural components to perform several roles, for example the precast concrete podium elements, which support and protect the timber wall panels, serve as ducts to supply ventilation air at low level, and provide additional seating to the side-aisles of the chapel.