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Westminster Abbey to be crowned with £10m roof

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The RIBA will launch a competition to design a new roof above Westminster Abbey if ‘concept’ proposals win public approval

The Abbey’s Dean, the Very Rev John Hall has, announced that he is considering a new £10 million addition which ‘will alter the London skyline’ and has launched a public exhibition to gauge opinion.

The proposed Corona - crown-shaped roof - would replace the small plain pyramid on top of the Lantern, which was re-built in 1958 to repair war damage. Underneath, in the church itself, is the Crossing, the heart of the Abbey where monarchs have been crowned and royals lain in state since 1066.

Works would add to the long list of alterations in the buildings rich history, by the likes of Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor and Sir George Gilbert Scott.

The new roof is part of a £23m development plan for the abbey, including a new museum in its upper floors with a lift on the outside of the building for access, and an education centre and cafe.

Following a positive response from the public consultation, the RIBA will launch a design competition. The roof would be set for completion in time to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of The Queen’s Coronation in June 2013. Costs for the development would need to be met by fund raising.

The 2020 Vision exhibition outlining proposals will run until the end of September at the Abbey’s Chapter House.



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