Visitor centre, Liverpool Cathedral

It’s been a great privilege for Brock Carmichael to design the modern and understated intervention of the new visitor centre within the great space of Giles Gilbert Scott’s Grade 1 listed masterpiece, the Church of Christ, Cathedral. This Anglican Cathedral markedly contrasts the modern design of the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool at the other end of Hope Street.

Charges to enter the Cathedral were not be introduced for visitors, but the building needed to be more accessible to worshippers, other organisations, visitors and tourists. Brock Carmichael was tasked with the Sensitive insertion of the new visitor facility.

The new gift shop and mezzanine cafe provides a central reception for visitors. Visitor facilities and a theatre are provided in a new three-storey building that sits on the site of a previously planned small chapel.

The chapel’s column and arched springing points are retained and featured on each level. The contemporary design respects the architecture and central side arches, providing opportunity to view the detail of the Northern Transept window.

The first two phases of the new Visitor Centre opened in December 2006 and early 2007. The final phase, which involved upgrading the existing restaurant area, was completed in early 2008. In 2009 Liverpool Cathedral won the accolade of ‘Best Large Visitor Attraction’ at the North West’s Annual Tourism Awards.