BarberOsgerby benches in situ © the artists

Portsmouth Cathedral

As part of an ongoing programme to update Portsmouth Cathedral, Artwise formed part of the Fabrics Committee and led the redesign of its choir stalls and organ doors. Part of the challenge was creating an original response whilst maintaining respect for the building’s heritage. The commissions were awarded to BarberOsgerby (choir stalls) and Patrick Caulfield RA to revamp the organ doors.

BarberOsgerby responded with an oak bench that paired original design with conventional wood seating. Christened The Portsmouth Bench, it received the Design Week Award for Best Furniture Design for its elegance, sound structure, lightness and portability. Caulfield’s design for the interior organ doors reflected upon tradition and modernity, referencing Christian symbols, the City of Portsmouth and existing features in the Cathedral. Together, the two commissions helped evolve the understanding of the space by encouraging its contemporary audience to find new and exciting ways of interacting with sacred places of faith.

See also

Portsmouth Cathedral images

  • BarberOsgerby, The Portsmouth Bench. Photo © Lee Fennell

    BarberOsgerby, The Portsmouth Bench. Photo © Lee Fennell