Convent in a national park: Stanbrook Abbey
Client: Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation, Stanbrook Abbey
Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Location: Stanbrook Abbey, Wass, GB–YO61 4AY, York
The building, designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, was erected in two phases. The spatial and functional organisation of the structure is aligned to the nuns' particular requirements, plus natural materials such as wood and stone ensure that the building inconspicuously merges in with its surroundings.
The convent consists of public and private areas, organised around a generously-sized cloister courtyard in a clearly-zoned arrangement. The guest accommodation wing is reached from the main entrance on the eastern side; the nuns' cells, each of them facing south, are located on a wing to the west. Light-filled corridors connect the individual parts of the building.
The particularly prominent architectural features consists of the church and chapel, whereby the roof rising towards the altar area, the undulating shapes and the vertical narrow strips of natural stone on the facade determine the character of the building as a whole. Inside the church, the alternation of floor-to-ceiling windows and wall segments results in an interesting play of light and shade when the sun shines.