A seat fit for a Bishop

In the workshop this week is a project that we are very honoured to be involved with. After all, it’s not often that a new Cathedra is made.

This Cathedra, a Bishop’s seat, is for Leicester Cathedral which is undergoing a £2.5m refurbishment ahead of the reburial of King Richard III in March.  As part of the work, a competitive design competition was run to design a new Cathedra, the chair that gives its name to the building.   It was won by Draisci Studio, London who commissioned us to make their striking design.

We are making the Cathedra in  American Black Walnut, decorated with coloured leather and detailed with gold leaf.  Its multi faceted shape involves complex geometry requiring mitred joints with perfect precision. We’re also making the high matching Cross which at over 4m high completes the impressive design.

Francesco Draisci, creative director of Draisci Studio said: “We feel honoured to be selected to interpret this prestigious spiritual brief. We aim at creating a timeless and universal design adding dynamic richness to the eclectic Cathedral. The new Cathedra and the new Cross designs address dignity and status with rigor without being imposing, fusing together structural and ornamental concerns.”

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Revd David Montheith said, “This striking Cathedra will communicate with great clarity the fundamental mission of the cathedral. Cathedrals in every generation are known for imaginative artistic design of great quality often breaking new imaginative ground. Through this new commission we see a faith rooted in tradition and yet reaching out with great confidence to the people of our own generation.”

Architects van Heyningen and Haward are responsible for the building works that transform the chancel and are the designers of Richard III’s tomb and the new high altar, They are lead designers responsible for the overall coordination of the new display units, loose furniture, high altar and cathedra.

For more information:

Leicester Cathedral: kingrichardinleicester.com  @LeicsCathedral

van Heyningen and Haward Architects: vHH_Architects @vHH_Architects

Draisci Studio: draisci.com  @draiscistudio 

Benchmark: benchmarkfurniture.com @MadebyBenchmark

Posted on: 10th February, 2015 By: Benchmark Category: Craftsmanship| Ecclesiastical| Projects