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Westminster Cathedral - High Altar, Vault Repairs and Mosaics

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During the practice’s involvement at Westminster Cathedral there have been numerous projects varying in scale and complexity from high level vault repairs to re-roofing projects and mosaic conservation.  Most recently works have surrounded the high altar, where a plan to move it slightly forward of its current position to provide space behind to permit westward- facing celebration was designed, approved and tendered in 2003. Early in 2010 the scheme still remained unimplemented with the unsatisfactory temporary altar arrangement sited in the western bay of the chancel space still standing in front of the high altar beneath its great baldachino. The unresolved duality of the two altars had impaired the magnificent architecture of Bentley’s interior for far too long so a new scheme was devised in which the high altar would remain in place but the wall behind it would be moved back, providing the necessary space. The completion of the project, in time for the papal visit has once again reinstated the high altar as the liturgical focus of the Cathedral, re-uniting liturgical and architectural design within the Cathedral in the way it was always intended.