Thursday, January 25, 2007

Lutyens' Cathedral

The model of Lutyens' RC Cathedral design for Liverpool is finally restored and going on display at the Walker Art Gallery. The Guardian have included an article about it today in the G2.

I was going to post about it, but Andrew Cusack has beaten me to it. While his post is good, I don't agree with what he and some of his other readers have to say about Gibberd's design.

Gibberd's cathedral has to be seen from the inside. I suggest Andrew Cusack's readers (and the rest of you) start here.

I think that the Lutyens' design would have been completely out of scale with the city and probably outgrown by the modern liturgy. Adrian Gilbert Scott's pared down version would not have done justice to the original scheme and, I think, suffered the same liturgy related issues. I suggest there would be problems with an older style building and the modern liturgy because of the vast numbers of churches having their interiors reordered these days - I've worked for a practice where that was our bread and butter. Gibberd's in-the-round design allows for a more modern approach to the acts of worship. Many Anglican and Catholic congregations are seeking this approach rather than the 'old fashioned' sanctuary and high altar at the far end of the church. I think this is a Good Thing - more inclusive worship.

I hope to get down to Liverpool to see the model at some point before April, however it is rather far away these days. Perhaps I'll have to wait until it is installed in 3XN's Museum of Liverpool in 2010...

No comments: