Winchester Cathedral - Kings and Scribes
Listing Status: Grade 1 listed Scheduled Ancient Monument set within a Conservation Area
Funding: HLF grant and support from the Winchester Cathedral Trust and Friends of Winchester Cathedral
NCA were appointed as the Architects for the Kings and Scribes project when Nick Cox became Cathedral Architect for Winchester Cathedral in 2012. NCA developed the architectural proposals for the new exhibition spaces and improved access in the South Transept in collaboration with a number of other consultants, specialists, and the Cathedral staff. We helped the Cathedral assemble numerous documents for submission to the authorities and funding bodies in order to gain approval and funding for the work. We put together the tender and construction information for the project. Since the project has been on site, we have had a continuous dialogue with the contractors and craftsmen carrying out the work to ensure a high standard of work.
The project involves the conservation of existing fabric, the creation of new exhibition space and improved access, improved learning facilities and interpretation in the Cathedral. The main components of new work in the South Transept are: a new mezzanine floor, a new staircase, a lift from ground floor to Triforium level, the reordering of some existing spaces at mezzanine level and the reconfiguration of an existing 17th century staircase. Alongside this new work there has been extensive conservation work to existing fabric.
Finding an appropriate architectural language in this sensitive space has been a rare opportunity. We have developed a language of details that sits comfortably alongside the fine craftsmanship and existing materials within the Cathedral, and that is at the same time an honest 21st Century addition to the Cathedral. The introduction of the lift has been particularly complex, both in practical and design terms. It is believed to be the first lift introduced within a medieval Cathedral in the country.
The lift is clearly a new element of work, but sits comfortably alongside the ancient fabric and will significantly improve the accessibility of the Cathedral for many people. A very high quality of finish is evident in all the new work thanks to the terrific craftsmenship of the men and women who have worked on site.