Saturday, 13 November 2010

Great Buildings 4 - Coventry Cathedral

For this entry in my Great Buildings series, and with a link to the recent themes of war, peace and remembrance, I've chosen Coventry Cathedral. Designed by Basil Spence following the destruction of the previous cathedral during World War, I had never actually been that impressed by pictures of it until I visited an exhibition which had a scale model of the old and new buildings and it suddenly made sense.

Unfortunately, I can only furnish you with pictures, but hope that you get a better impression than I did.

First the most common picture (or certainly the one that used to leave me unconvinced):

Part of Spence's genius was in not replacing the ruins, leaving a lasting a memorial to the events of the war:

...while managing to integrate the new building, for all it's modernist style, with the old:

The building seeks to retain classical Cathedral volumes but not to reproduce or be a pastiche of the old:

This map shows the relation of the ruins to the new Cathedral:

You can see more of the Cathedral on their website here and this Wikipedia entry. There are more of my architecture related posts here.


1 comment:

Stephen Glenn said...

You do realise that I used to walk 'though' the Cathedral to get to church at Holy Trinity just next door. Well up the Queen's Steps and along St. Michael's Avenue though the arches that link the old with the new.