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FCBS wins £7m Manchester Cathedral contest

Manchester Cathedral West End overhaul
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Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has won the competition for a £7 million overhaul of Manchester Cathedral’s historic west end

The AJ120 firm – which opened a new studio in Manchester last year – was shortlisted against BDP, Buttress Architects, Purcell and Richard Griffiths Architects in the high-profile contest.

Planned to complete in time for the cathedral’s 600-year anniversary in 2021, the £7million project will create new offices, retail, storage and toilet facilities within the Grade I-listed building.

Manchester Cathedral: Spring by Arthur Yushi

Manchester Cathedral: Spring by Arthur Yushi

Manchester Cathedral: Spring by Arthur Yushi

Public access to the cathedral’s 40 metre-high tower will also be delivered alongside a new exhibition space at the spire’s base and two multi-purpose meeting spaces.

The competition – organised by Dooley Associates – sought an ‘aspirational and symbolic’ design to ‘preserve and enhance’ the cathedral’s west façade.

Proposals were expected to ‘help the cathedral to become a more recognisable symbol within the intention of creating a medieval tourist and cultural quarter for the city.’

Dooley Associates’ managing director, Brendan Dooley, commented: ‘The response to the tender for the Cathedral West End project was phenomenal and following detailed interviews with five practices, the panel selected Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios as one of two practices that stood head and shoulders above the rest.

He continued: ‘The panel concluded that the [firm’s] innovative yet pragmatic approach was the best and most deliverable solution for this high profile and sensitive site.’

Manchester Cathedral West End overhaul

Manchester Cathedral West End overhaul

Source: FCBS

This view shows the internal areas of the Cathedral tower with people able to access internal floors

The West End scheme is part of a £15 million regeneration programme – led by Dooley Associates – which includes a new lighting and sound installation designed by BDP.

The church’s director of fundraising and development, Anthony O’Connor, added: ‘The Cathedral has embarked on its largest building intervention in its history with a planned completion on its 600 year anniversary in 2021. It is great, that thanks to our sponsors, volunteers and partners, several projects are already on site.’

In November last year OMA defeted Zaha Hadid, Rafael Viñoly and others in a separate contest for Manchester’s new £110 million venue – named The Factory .

Manchester Cathedral West End overhaul

Manchester Cathedral West End overhaul

Source: FCBS

The aspiration is to open to up the Cathedral tower, the image shows views across Manchester city centre from the top of the tower

Manchester Cathedral: The Light Above US by Paul Compton

Manchester Cathedral: The Light Above US by Paul Compton

Manchester Cathedral: The Light Above US by Paul Compton

 

 

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