Thursday, 12 July 2012

360 Degree View of Liverpool Roman Catholic Cathedral

This morning I found a fantastic 360 interior view of Frederick Gibberd's much celebrated Roman Catholic Cathedral in Liverpool. It captures some of the beauty of the stained glass, and the sense of drama it creates. The forceful concrete exterior contrasts beautifully with the interior, whose design was strongly influenced by the decisions of the Second Vatican Council.

Compared to the other great Mid-20th Century British cathedral, Coventry, it is interesting to see how different and dramatic the treatment of the fenestration has brought to the building, with Coventry's clear glass 'West' End (actually South) arguably making it dominate the interior, rather than focusing one on the alter. Also interesting is the different ways in which pre-mediaeval elements of ecclesiastical buildings, such as chapels, choirs and fonts are incorporated into modern liturgy.

The radical decisions of Vatican II mark the greatest difference between the form and progression through these buildings, and each is beautifully juxtaposed by a more senior neighbour. In Coventry, this is the ruined St Michael with its magnificent steeple, and of Liverpool it is Giles Gilbert Scott's Anglican Cathedral which, despite being Victorian in origin wasn't completed until eleven years after its "newer" catholic neighbour.

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