new infirmary & refectory
The new infirmary and refectory at the Benedictine Abbey, which was founded in 1090 by Archbishop Gundulph, replace temporary accommodation dating back to1935, when the construction of a new wing was abandoned due to lack of funds. The common room of the infirmary is on the route into the refectory, ensuring that sick and elderly nuns maintain contact with their community. Taking its form from the existing lower ground level, the new building is a simple rectangular volume enjoying a southerly aspect and views over the Abbey grounds. A linear roof light introduces sun and daylight into the back of the space and facilitates cross ventilation. All of the internal toilets and bathrooms are provided with natural light and ventilation. External walls are built in English bond load bearing brickwork with a heavily insulated and dry-lined inner skin. Deep thresholds are provided to the windows and cell doors.