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Niall McLaughlin Architects win chapel competition

Niall McLaughlin Architects’ proposal for Ripon College Chapel synthesises the ‘acoustic and the luminous’

London-based Niall McLaughlin Architects has designed Ripon College Chapel ‘as a place for listening to the human voice, both speaking and singing, in a space full of light gathered from the surrounding trees.’

The designers used a site-specific tool to experiment with this combination of acoustic and luminous conditions. Acoustic engineer Paul Gilleron built a digital model of the particular acoustic of the space, which can be played through earphones, and the architects combined this with a wearable headpiece.

‘If you wear the whole object on your head, you can stand beneath the trees on the site and listen to the precise acoustic of the space while experiencing light flooding through high windows,’ said McLaughlin. ‘It is filtered through the tree canopy giving it a fugitive, dappled quality,’ he continued.

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