A team led by Hyland Edgar Driver has won the Canterbury Cathedral Landscape Design Competition.

Plan of Canterbury Cathedral
Hyland Edgar Driver wins competition for Canterbury Cathedral

The jury was unanimous in choosing the HED team (who collaborated with Andrew Moor Associates, Thorn Lighting Limited and KLH Sustainability) from the five practices shortlisted to develop concept designs at the design competition’s second stage.

The successful proposal was distinctive in approaching the sensitive and historic site with a master-planning strategy. It concentrated on the welcome for visitors and chose to narrate Canterbury’s historic, cultural and architectural stories through contemporary artworks in glass and stone.

The team derived inspiration from the Cathedral’s archives and glass art. They suggested developing a pavement of etched ‘ledgers’ (large flagstones) to form a new piazza, as well as a pilgrims’ bench with drinking fountains and basins, and seasonal planting at the Cathedral’s West Front.

It also proposed restoring lost flint walls, reintroducing herbs and wildflowers to the precincts, using highly sustainable techniques to reclaim and recycle existing materials.

Malcolm Reading, competition organiser and adviser to the jury, said: ‘The brief called for exemplary and sustainable landscape design, which recognises the spiritual, historic and national importance of the site. The winning team was the one which took this message to heart, coming up with original ideas and a refreshing but also realistic approach.’

The other shortlisted teams were: Kossmann.dejong (The Netherlands) in collaboration with Felixx, ROD’OR Advies and VAN DEN BERK Nurseries; Michael Lee Architects (UK) in collaboration with Austin Winkley & Associates, NORM, Biodiversity by Design, Noel Kingsbury and Jackson Coles Construction Consultants; Purcell (UK) in collaboration with ARUP, Tonkin Liu, Bare Leaning & Bare (Synergy LLP) and Fletcher Teckman Consulting; and, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan Ltd Landscape Design (UK) in collaboration with Gianni Botsford Architects, Langlands & Bell, Press & Starkey and Hockley & Dawson.

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