Chapel Camberwell Home, London House Renovation, English Real Estate, Architecture Photos

Chapel house, Camberwell, South London

14 Sep 2021

Design: Craftworks

Location: Camberwell, London SE5, England, UK

Stephen Lawrence Prize 2021 Shortlisted

Chapel in London design by Craftworks
photograph © Edmund Sumner

Chapel, London

Jury Report

This South London property project converted a derelict chapel into a two-storey family home with a pulpit-like mezzanine under the roof. Unusually, the chapel is in the middle of a domestic garden. As it is also in a Conservation Area, the planners demanded that the existing ruin was rebuilt, leaving the architect scope to transform the interior. The architect reused bricks from the original building and left the pre-existing window openings unaltered.

Chapel in London design by Craftworks
photo © Edmund Sumner

Despite flipping the usual internal arrangement, the layout is logical: four bedrooms are on the lower ground floor, with living quarters at entry level above. The open-plan living quarters have a fanciful, dream-like quality heightened by a captivating ceiling that is reminiscent of muqarnas, the ornamented vaulting in Islamic architecture. The bold, Mannerist geometry has an ethereal quality, with triangular roof-lights allowing daylight to wash over the angled plasterwork.

Chapel in London design by Craftworks
photo © Edmund Sumner

A fireplace towards one end rises to reach the Mannerist plaster work of the ceiling and allow its chimney breast to immerse itself into the geometry of the ceiling. Looking like a pulpit or church organ, the structure holding up the mezzanine occupies the space near the entrance. It hides a cloak room and leads up to a study area overlooking the upper floor living area. A beautifully detailed, dark-stained timber staircase leads to the lower floor, opening onto the bedrooms.

Chapel in London design by Craftworks
photo © Edmund Sumner

The garden, beautifully landscaped, accessed from the living quarters and overlooked by the bedrooms, its fantastical, undulating topography and skillful arrangement of wild planting complements the house perfectly.

Chapel in London design by Craftworks
photo © Edmund Sumner

This may not be a house for everybody, but the architect has met the brief with wild imagination, creating truly inspiring and unique space.

Chapel house, Camberwell, London SE5 – Building Information

RIBA region: London
Architect practice: Craftworks
Date of completion: March 2018
Client company name:
Project city/town: London
Contract value: £725,000.00
Internal area: 225.00 m²
Cost per m²: £3,222.00 / m²
Contractor company name: Habitat Construction LLP


Structural Engineers: Cooper Associates
Landscape Architects: Jane Brockbank Gardens

• RIBA Regional Award
• Stephen Lawrence Prize 2021 Shortlist

Stephen Lawrence Prize 2021 Shortlist

Chapel house, Camberwell, London SE5 images / information received 140921

Location: Camberwell, South London SE5, England, UK

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