Salisbury Cathedral's in-house architect has applied for planning permission for new 'aesthetically pleasing' visitor facilities to be situated in the 'plumbery' where Munckenbeck and Marshall was to have built a dramatic new glass cafe (AJ 6.5.99).
Michael Drury has proposed the £670,000 scheme for the area between the nave and the cloisters - used for workshops when the Cathedral was built, and currently housing unsightly 1970s prefabs containing a shop, restaurant and toilets.
The cathedral views its current arrangements - expected to cope with 800,000 visitors per year - as 'depressing and drab'. And since income generated by visitors amounts to 60 per cent of the total needed to maintain the Dean and Chapter and to fund maintenance of the Cathedral and Close, the mission and the monastery, the cathedral wants to capitalise on the situation. For the longer term, it is planning a new centre in which to display and interpret the Magna Carta.
The new facilities will be temporary, housing a shop, refectory and kitchens, storeroom, offices and lavatories. A public meeting will be held to discuss the project at the Cathedral next Wednesday at 18.30. It is hoped the new facilities will be open next Easter.
Munckenbeck and Marshall was commissioned about 10 weeks ago to design a similar new glass cafe in the area before the man who commissioned it, Barry Mason, was sacked.