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Commendation for Cathedral Visitor Centre

Commendation for Cathedral Visitor Centre

We’re delighted that the Cathedral’s Visitor Centre has been awarded a Commendation for its interior design at this year’s Canterbury Society Design Awards

The building, designed by Hamish McMichael Architects as part of the Canterbury Journey project, was praised by the judges for its ‘complex series of attractive, visually-linked internal volumes at various levels’ and materials that are ‘carefully handled both in the sensitively restored historic brickwork within the former Sun Inn, and into the new building with its contrasting black metalwork and light-coloured joinery.’

The Centre welcomes modern-day pilgrims and comprises a ticket office, interpretation space, and retail area and includes a multi-purpose room for use by local community groups. A notable feature is the upstairs viewing gallery whose large window affords a dramatic view of the Cathedral.

The Canterbury Society Design Awards recognise and celebrate the buildings, spaces and places that are of value to our community. Commenting on the award, Mark Hosea, Project Director of The Canterbury Journey, said “It is with immense pleasure and pride that Canterbury Cathedral’s new Visitor Centre received a ‘Commended’ from The Canterbury Society in their 2021 Design Awards for a New Building in a Conservation Area. The benefits of the exciting new Visitor Centre, with all it has to offer in terms of ticketing, shop, viewing gallery, interpretation and exhibitions will hopefully be enjoyed not just by all those visiting the Cathedral, but by all those visiting Canterbury itself.”

“This was a very complicated building to integrate into such a historic setting as part of a World Heritage Site, so it is great to receive such positive recognition of that from The Canterbury Society. We look forward to welcoming all to enjoy the building and all that it has to offer!”.

On learning of the award, the Centre’s architect, Hamish McMichael, said “We are delighted that the design of the new Visitor Centre at Canterbury Cathedral has been recognised by The Canterbury Society’s Design Awards. This was a challenging location in which to design a new structure, stitched into the historic context of the precincts and the Burgate properties, adjacent to the Christ Church Gate. We took references from the location to design a modern structure that seeks to blend into the background of the setting, however we sought to create a unique sequence of contemporary interiors, to bring a new identity to the welcome and interpretation spaces. The success of the project is a testament to the hard work of the entire Canterbury Journey team.”

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