Westminster Cathedral Piazza

The Cathedral Piazza has the potential to be a unique Colonnaded outdoor room in the City, and the anchor to a much wider regeneration. There are two critical demands we have articulated in our design for the Piazza in the short term - improved urban presence and a defined sense of place.

A 15m tall portland stone gateway is defined by the proportions of the Cathedral Tower as a symbolic entrance to the square, aligning the historic axis between the Cathedral and Cardinal Place. This new “secular” tower establishes a diagonal relationship across the piazza, and is then drawn as a line first as a linear seat and continuing in the paving to define a gently inclined gathering space, distinct from the peripheral lines of movement around the square. The edges of the inclined ground are gradually defined by three steps which provide an opportunity for informal seating, as well as helping to define a sense of place for gatherings or events.

The drawn line is a folded 14 times to create 14 corners, as a direct reference to the 14 Stations of the Cross within the Cathedral. Whilst allowing this symbolic interpretation, the line equally provides a playful journey for children to follow.

Lighting is an integral part of the design in collaboration with the lighting artist Martin Richman. The use of light is considered to define the edges of the space as both safe and functional spaces, whilst introducing an element of decorative delight which interprets the context of the Cathedral and its delicate architecture.

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