Lutyens Crypt Access,
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
IBI Nightingale was appointed by the Archdiocese of Liverpool to design a pavilion which, for the first time, opens up the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King’s Crypt to public access.
The scheme, while preserving the integrity of both buildings, offers vastly improved (and DDA compliant ) access together with upgraded facilities and a rich cultural experience, embracing not only the architecture of Sir Edwin Lutyens, but the history of English Catholicism and a treasure house of historic religious vestments and plates.
IBI Nightingale has been recognised, through the International Green Apple Awards for the Built Environment and Architectural Heritage, for their work on the Cathedral.
Frederick Gibberd’s original design incorporated the Crypt, designed by Lutyens, into the scheme by transforming the top of the crypt’s roof into an elevated piazza, but the design did not include a direct link between the crypt and the new cathedral.
As a consequence, since the completion of the Gibberd Cathedral, the original Lutyens Crypt has remained largely hidden from the general public due to the poor access but the new pavilion will, at long last, allow the public to view the crypt and the museum which it contains, whilst opening it up for entertainment events and other activities.
This is the first addition to the building since its completion in 1967 and follows on from IBI Nightingale’ first involvement with the Cathedral in 1993 when a design team led by former Consultant Bing Vis started a ten year programme of renovation and repairs to the main fabric of the Cathedral. This £8 million pound programme of works included a complete re-roofing of the Cathedral, works to the Stained Glass lantern, a new external lighting scheme, major works to the podium and was finally completed in July 2003.