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The Common Ground in Sacred Space Project | St. Nicholas Cathedral

Urban Designer
December 19 2017

HarrisonStevens is excited to be part of the Design Team for the Common Ground in Sacred Space Project (CGISS) which…

HarrisonStevens is excited to be part of the Design Team for the Common Ground in Sacred Space Project (CGISS) which looks to develop and transform Newcastle St. Nicholas Cathedral. As Landscape Architect and Urban Designers, we will focus on the design of external spaces surrounding Newcastle Cathedral, and work closely with rest of the Design Team to ensure a holistic project delivery for the ‘Inside-Out’ Cathedral.

The CGISS project rests on the three pillars of Heritage, People and Communities and we see it as a great opportunity to involve the public in the design process from the very beginning. HarrisonStevens, therefore, facilitated an initial consultation session on Thursday 16th November 2017, in which we invited the local business community to share with us their thoughts and ideas about the outdoor space. By using exercises such as Place Standards, annotating current access routes/movement patterns and sharing thoughts and ideas via a comments box, locals helped us evaluate the existing conditions of the space, let us know what they treasure about the space and what they would like to see improved.

The overall aim was for us to develop an interim and instant understanding of how the external spaces of the Cathedral are currently used, what the local people think of the quality of the space and to collect thoughts and ideas of how to develop the spaces around the Cathedral to encourage greater use.

The sessions were well received and visited by 65+ people who were directly engaged in the activities. Participants included local business owners, employees and families, the Cathedral Council and the Bishop of Newcastle, and the session was followed up by a similar session with Newcastle Cathedral Chapter.

The initial consultations were useful and informative sessions, introducing us to current issues, and giving locals the opportunity to inspire us with their ideas and the thoughts they have for the Cathedral’s external space. It has been a great start for us, and we are now looking forward to designing a new external environment for Newcastle Cathedral, which will encourage greater use.

We would like to thank everyone who came along for the initial consultation and encourage you to follow the project as it develops or sign up to the project newsletter here.

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