Portsmouth Cathedral: Art and Sacred Places, 2004


As part of an on-going programme to update Portsmouth Cathedral, we were invited to form part of the Fabrics Committee and lead the re-design of the choir stalls and organ doors. BarberOsgerby were commissioned to design the choir stalls and Patrick Caulfield to revamp the organ doors. Part of the challenge was to create an original response whilst maintaining respect for the building's heritage.


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