There’s something heavenly isn’t there, about living in a home that used to be a chapel or church. In fact, more and more of these architectural beauties are popping up in estate agents windows, having been lovingly restored. And we’ve just done exactly that – with a development known as The Chapel in Rubery.
With the old becoming the new, these amazing conversions are seriously impressive. Working with UK developer Adrian Jones from Severn Property, we took on the job as Principal Contractor to carefully transform this1882 chapel into luxury two-and three-bedroom apartments. This circa 6,400 sq.ft development was ripe for conversion after being purchased by Adrian in early 2019 – taking us 18-months to complete.
Naturally, we were keen to retain as many features as we could. The head-turning architecture of the high vaulted dome gives a feeling of space; and although we had to replace all of the windows with replicas of the originals, it’s still a magical sight to see the sun stream in through the huge expanse of decorative glass. All the brickwork was cleaned, and we kept exposed the original timbers. What’s great about each apartment, is all the rooms are full of unusual nooks and crannies and bursting with beautiful architectural pieces.
As rewarding as it was re-developing this chapel, it came with a fair few challenges – which was fine by us because we enjoy solving problems. To give you an idea though, access for all internal works, including excavation work to the ground floor, the steel frame structure and floor joists all had to go through a single door opening. And, because the chapel is in the middle of a new housing site, we had to be mindful to keep deliveries and parking very well organised to keep our neighbours happy. On a build like this, nothing goes in quite as easily as the drawings suggest – so most elements of work had to have some design input on site during the build. Then of course, COVID struck as we were nearing completion – so we had to re-adjust the way we worked.
This Grade II listed building has an interesting back-story. It started life as an asylum, became a hospital during the two World Wars, before becoming part of the NHS as Rubery Hill Hospital in 1948. It went into decline and closed in 1993, before being resurrected earlier this year.
So, if you’re a homebuyer looking for a little piece of heaven or a room with a pew [sorry!], then the Chapel in Rubery could be right up your street. There are still one or two properties on the market with Centrick Estate Agents who are selling them.
To talk to us about your new residential project, please get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.