Priory Visitor Centre, Coventry

MJP Architects, Coventry, 2001


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The lightweight walkway wrapping around the new landscaped garden 

Peter Durant (website)     Download Original

  • The lightweight walkway wrapping around the new landscaped garden    
  • Views across the garden    
  • A simple steel and timber bridge    
  • Clerestory glazing separates the wall and roof and is shaded by a louvred brise-soleil    
  • Concrete columns in the exhibition space support a multi-faith room    
  • Accessed via a ‘floating’ platform which reveals the building’s full height     
  • The continuity of the flow of space and through views across the gardens    
  • Detail with the benches cantilevered from the wall    
  • Old and new… the backdrop of Coventry’s historic cathedral    
  • Framed views through the archways    
  • The new centre sits comfortably within the site     
  • Ground floor plan    
  • First floor plan    
  • Long section    
  • Site diagram    

A new meeting place for Coventry's multi-faith group set in gardens and public open spaces which contain archeological artifacts

The approach from the Cathedral takes the visitor over a bridge spanning the Priory nave, which has been excavated and landscaped to form a garden extending to form the north wall of the garden and the south wall of the centre.

The Centre’s roof and clerestory glazing are visible. Large steps lead the visitor to the building’s entrance covered by the extension of the roof supported by a row of white concrete columns.

A meeting room for the multi-faith group sits within the volume accessible by internal stairs and a lightweight walkway at first floor allowing light to filter down. The north wall is fully glazed, providing continuity of wall and floor surfaces from inside to out and has been uncovered, raised and reused. The visitors centre houses the archaeological artefacts and meeting rooms.

The roof is a double cantilever above the glazed wall and an open terrace at the point of entry. The tapered, wing-like shape of the roof emphasises the spine of exposed, white concrete supporting columns. Much thinner steel columns support only the glass wall. Partially hung glazing encloses the rear of the building between the top of the nave wall and rear wing of the roof.


  • Begun: Feb 2000
  • Completed: Mar 2001
  • Floor area: 483m2
  • Sector: Civic
  • Total cost: £590,569
  • Tender date: Jul 1999
  • Procurement: JCT Local Authorities With Quantities
  • Address: 1 Hill Top, Coventry, CV1 5AB, United Kingdom

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