The Mountpleasant Methodist chapel in New Mills  is a classical revival building whose interior and roof was  destroyed by fire in 1993. Amazingly the external walls have remained standing, hidden amongst an overgrown graveyard.

A local artist purchased the land and buildings and commissioned Poulter Architects to design a new independent dwelling within the walls of the chapel and an outdoor cafe in the rear sunday school.

Our approach is to retain the character of the ruin and clearly distinguish the new elements from the old through a contrasting contemporary dwelling.  The building then becomes a palimpsest, a layering of elements that in their own way tell the history of the building, from its original construction, through to its destruction by fire, and its rebirth into a new use. Through the landscaping the characteristics of the existing ruin are retained with planting seen through the existing façades

The dwelling is to be constructed using a high performance prefabricated timber frame and will meet the AECB Building Standard of at least 40KWh/m² annum heating demand which goes well beyond building regulations. The project will also use an Air Source Heat Pump for heating and hot water as well as generating energy from solar PV that is discreetly hidden from view behind the roof parapet.

The project has re started on site in 2023.


Treated Floor Area:  109m²

Annual Heating Demand:  34 KWh/m²

Peak Heating Load: 18 W/m²

Frequency of overheating:  (> 25­°C) 0 %

Airtightness:    1.5ac/h@50Pa

Primary Energy Renewable Demand:  38 KWh/m²annum

On site renewable energy generated :   2700 KWh/annum

Embodied Carbon (60 yr lifespan) : RIBA 2030 -490 kgCO2e/m² LETI 364kgCO2e/m²


Location: New Mills

Architect: Poulter Architects

Start on site: 2023

Contractor:  Self Build

Structural Engineer: Renaissance

Timber Frame: McVeigh Offsite

Construction Value:  TBC

Photography:  Poulter Architects