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Revealed: finalist schemes in Canterbury Cathedral entrance contest

Images of the five schemes shortlisted in the competition to redesign the landscape around Canterbury Cathedral’s main entrance have been revealed.

The £1 million project will revamp the area next to the grade I-listed building’s West Front and Church Gate.

The shortlist

  • Hyland Edgar Driver Landscape Architects (UK) with Andrew Moor Associates, Thorn Lighting and KLH Sustainability
  • Kossmann.dejong (The Netherlands) with Felixx, ROD’OR Advies and Van Den Berk Nurseries
  • Michael Lee Architects (UK) with Austin Winkley & Associates, NORM, Biodiversity by Design, Noel Kingsbury and Jackson Coles Construction Consultants
  • Purcell (UK) with ARUP, Tonkin Liu, Bare Leaning & Bare (Synergy LLP) and Fletcher Teckman Consulting
  • Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design (UK) with Gianni Botsford Architects, Langlands & Bell, Press & Starkey and Hockley & Dawson

Despite receiving more than a million visitors each year the approach to the 1,400 year-old building has not been improved since the 1940s.

Malcolm Reading, competition organiser and the jury chairman, said the teams had ‘tuned in to some of the essential themes of a classic English landscape’.

He added:‘It’s a very sensitive site and the jury will need to weigh carefully these different approaches to choose the one that resonates and offers the best way forward. They have been successful in balancing visitor needs with the history and the spiritual aspects of the space,’ added Reading.

The schemes will go on public display at The Beaney, close to Canterbury Cathedral next week (8 October), and in the meantime can be viewed online.

The winner of the competition will be announced in November.

Previous story (29.07.13)

Revealed: finalists in Canterbury Cathedral entrance contest

An eclectic mix of architects and landscape specialists have been named among the finalists in the contest to redesign the landscape around Canterbury Cathedral’s main entrance.

Gianni Botsford Architects, Purcell, Tonkin Liu and up-and-coming practice Michael Lee Architects are listed as members of the five teams shortlisted in the Malcolm Reading Consultants-backed competition.

The estimated £1 million project will focus on the cathedral precincts next to the Grade I-listed building’s West Front and Church Gate. The 1,400 year-old building – known as the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion – receives more than a million visitors each year but its main approach has not been improved since the 1940s.


Shortlist in full

  • Hyland Edgar Driver Landscape Architects (UK) with Andrew Moor Associates, Thorn Lighting and KLH Sustainability
  • Kossmann.dejong (The Netherlands) with Felixx, ROD’OR Advies and Van Den Berk Nurseries
  • Michael Lee Architects (UK) with Austin Winkley & Associates, NORM, Biodiversity by Design, Noel Kingsbury and Jackson Coles Construction Consultants
  • Purcell (UK) with ARUP, Tonkin Liu, Bare Leaning & Bare (Synergy LLP) and Fletcher Teckman Consulting
  • Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Landscape Design (UK) with Gianni Botsford Architects, Langlands & Bell, Press & Starkey and Hockley & Dawson

Competition organiser, Malcolm Reading, said: ‘We had a fascinating response. The selected teams… really got under the skin of the competition brief and we are looking forward to a stimulating second stage’

‘The Cathedral has deliberately sought a range of talent and experience. Each firm brings different strengths and expertise to the project.’

The winning team will be announced in Autumn 2013.

Previous story (AJ 13.06.2013)

Contest launched to revamp pilgrims’ approach to Canterbury Cathedral

Malcolm Reading Consultants has opened a design contest to overhaul the landscape surrounding Canterbury Cathedral’s main entrance

The estimated £1 million project will focus on the cathedral precincts next to the Grade I-listed building’s West Front and Church Gate however the exact site and budget will be determined by the winner.

The 1,400 year-old building – known as the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion – receives more than a million visitors each year but its main approach was last improved in the 1940s.

The cathedral is now looking for a design team to bring the area up to ‘modern expectations’ while showing ‘sensitivity to the classic and historic qualities’ of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Canterbury Cathedral site plan. Image by Malcolm Reading Consultants

Source: Image by Malcolm Reading Consultants

Canterbury Cathedral site plan. Image by Malcolm Reading Consultants

John Meardon, Canterbury Cathedral’s receiver general said:  ‘More than a million visitors enter the Precincts every year and the setting of the Cathedral is their first contact with this numinous and astonishingly beautiful building. The welcome we offer them should show us at our best.’

Competitoin organiser Malcolm Reading said: ‘It’s an unusual challenge for a team, mixing landscape and place-making with a respect for a setting with the highest heritage protection. This is a space that needs to be welcoming, offer sanctuary and also opportunities for celebration.

‘We are hoping for collaborations that balance a rich mix of different skills with sensitivity to the needs of visitors, pilgrims and the church community.’

A shortlist of five teams will be chosen to develop their schemes over the summer and receive an honorarium. The winners are due to be announced in the autumn.

Founded by St Augustine in 579 AD, the building was completely rebuilt by the Normans in 1070 and has been continually repaired and added to over the following centuries.

The deadline to enter the competition’s first stage is 17 July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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