Built-in shelves inside “fireplace” cavity around chimney

I’m not sure this is the best place to ask this question, but I’ll go ahead with it anyway since I’m not sure where else to post it.

So, this may be a non-issue, but I always like to ask if I think there may be a problem before doing it.

My idea, as the title of this post says, is to add built-in shelves inside an empty cavity of what appears to be a “place saver” for a fireplace. It is a hollow bust in the center of my living room wall. The walls of the bust are a combination of plaster and lathe from the original construction, and what I believe to be foam sheathing with a metallic coating for heat shielding that was added by a previous owner. The chimney runs up through this space, but is much smaller.

In the image I added, you can see the general outline of the chimney inside the shelving enclosure on the right hand side. I do not intend to expose the brick of the chimney as part of the finished design.

My plan is to hang the tv on the wall and use the shelves below for other electronics (head unit, cable box, etc), so there is a concern for overheating.

Anyway, my question is whether I need to have a gap between the chimney and the back of the shelving enclosure, and should the shelving enclosure have a heat shield of some sort (if so, then what is recommended?)?

The chimney is used for my boiler and hot water heater only.

Ideally, I would like to run the shelves right up to the chimney.

Any feedback would be welcome.



Attached Images



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