Canterbury Cathedral has launched a design competition to revitalise the landscape immediately in front of its main entrance.

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral announces landscape design shortlist

The five selected teams will now be asked to develop concept designs ‘which reimagine and reinvigorate the existing setting’.

Advised by MRC, Canterbury Cathedral has selected five teams to work on the project. These are: Hyland Edgar Driver Landscape Architects (UK) in collaboration with architectural glass artists Andrew Moor Associates, Thorn Lighting and KLH Sustainability; a Netherlands-based team of ‘exhibition architects’ Kossmann.dejong in collaboration wit interdisciplinary planning studio Felixx, ‘technical consultancy for outdoor space’ Rod’or Advies and Van den Berk Nurseries; Michael Lee Architects (UK) in collaboration with Austin Winkley & Associates, Danish design practice NORM, ecological consultancy Biodiversity by Design, garden designer Noel Kingsbury and Jackson Coles Construction Consultants; Purcell (UK) in collaboration with ARUP, landscape architects Tonkin Liu, property consultants Bare Leaning & Bare (Synergy LLP) and Fletcher Teckman Consulting Ltd; and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Ltd Landscape Design (UK) in collaboration with Gianni Botsford Architects, artists Langlands & Bell, project managers Press & Starkey and consulting engineers Hockley & Dawson.

‘We had a fascinating response, roughly divided into teams led by architects and landscape architects, respectively,’ says competition organiser Malcolm Reading. ‘The selected teams reflect this mix but also bring a strong narrative, specialist or craft collaborator. They really got under the skin of the competition brief and we are looking forward to a stimulating second stage.’

The Cathedral has deliberately sought a range of talent and experience, says MRC, and ‘each firm brings different strengths and expertise to the project’. The shortlisted teams have been given the opportunity to reconsider the way visitors first encounter England’s leading Cathedral and Mother Church.

The brief calls for exemplary and sustainable landscape design, which recognises the spiritual, historic and national importance of the site. It includes improving the visual and sensory experience of entering the precincts, as well as wayfinding, ‘and connecting visitors with the cathedral’s history, personalities and stories’.

The winning team will be announced in Autumn 2013.

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