Three RIBA 2017 Awards for CSA Members

Congratulations to Chetham’s School of Music, Wells Cathedral School and Leicester Cathedral, all of whom appear on this year’s RIBA list of buildings across the UK that have been recognised as significant contributions to architecture.

Chetham’s Stoller Hall and Cedars Hall at Wells are not only architectural winners but are both fantastic additions as performance spaces in Manchester and Wells, respectively. We will put the spotlight on both in separate stories on this website.

Leicester Cathedral’s handling of its Richard 111 Project ‘with dignity and honour’ transformed the existing chancel to accommodate the new tomb.

RIBA’s report says: “The architects were originally appointed in 2008 to reorder the Grade 11 listed Cathedral, but following the discovery of Richard 111 under a nearby car park, the brief was radically amended to include a new memorial.

There has been a careful re-ordering of the interior, creating new spaces: the altar, tomb and the chapel. Each of these spaces is beautifully conceived and executed. The architects were required to navigate a difficult balance between liturgy, ecclesiastical and tourism.

The report continues: “The design of the new altar subtly invites different readings. Its carved alabaster form represents both ‘sacrificial’ altar block and ‘memorial’ table cloth, and the final design incorporates both meanings perfectly. Behind it, the new tomb is a simple composition of two beautiful stones. The Swaledale limestone tombstone itself is a huge block carved with a simple pair of super-accurate incisions, forming a deep cross, while its darker-coloured inlaid plinth is perfectly coordinated with the new stone floor pattern.

They conclude: “The result is finely judged, and bears very close scrutiny, as well as adding meaningful new layers to a 1000 year old story.

This sounds as if a visit to Leicester Cathedral is a must, especially if it’s timed to coincide with Evensong!