Stanbrook Abbey

Education & Public Sector Award Winner 2016

Location: Wass, Yorkshire
Architect: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Client/Owner: Conventus of our Lady of Consolation, Stanbrook Abbey
Structural Engineer: Structures One, Buro Happold
Main Contractor/Builder: William Birch Construction, QSP Construction
Joinery Company: QSP Construction
Organ Builder: Jennings Organs
Choir Stall Manufacturer: Ooma Design Ltd
Wood Supplier: James Burrell, Vastern Timber Company Ltd
Wood Species: German Oak, Scottish Spruce, Douglas Fir, British Sycamore

Stanbrook Abbey is a new home for the Conventus of Our Lady of Consolation, a Benedictine community of nuns who devote their lives to study, work and prayer. The nuns’ contemplative way of life required spaces that were simple, tranquil and beautiful. The nuns chose the remote location, in peaceful woodland at the edge of the North York Moors, for its “special quality of silence and light”. The new church derives its plan from two intersecting axes significant in the liturgy of the church, its organic form rose out of the modest orthogonal domestic architecture of the abbey. Its interior celebrates the diurnal changes in daylight and takes advantage of the dramatic views. Delivered within a modest budget of £7.5million and completed over two phases, the new spaces include private cells, a refectory and associated kitchen, work rooms, a meeting place for before/after chapel services, guest spaces and a community church and chapel. Preference was given to renewable, recycled or low energy materials.