The Storage Cube

Carden and Godfrey Architects, Rochester, 2015

 

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A Storage Cube hidden behind the high altar containing the Cathedrals liturgical items.

The space behind the high alter at Rochester Cathedral had become a dumping ground for various pieces of equipment and paraphernalia. Whilst the storage was welcome, the method was inefficient and unbefitting of the location.

The Storage Cube was conceived as a large inhabited piece of furniture, making fullest use of the space available. The refined vertical panels of dark stained ash that make up the simple form sit precisely and almost invisibly behind the ornate Reredos, revealing its surprising illuminated soft and warm innards when a section is opened.

Inspiration was taken from the medieval panels of the Cathedral’s Sacristy combined with the idea of a shipping container; both share a ‘corduroy’ style aesthetic concealing their contents securely behind a blank expression.

The high quality joinery fitting straddles a tomb with its weight transferred to the line of the crypt vaulting below. It provides storage on two levels, the lower of which houses a vestment press, storage for bulky items and altar frontal hanging racks. The upper platform is accessed by a nautical inspired alternating tread stair and provides generous storage cupboards.

The Storage Cube aspires to be an elegant solution to the puzzle set by the Vergers, a place for storage of liturgical items and perhaps even a quite place to hide and nap; for those in the know

Data

  • Begun: Nov 2014
  • Completed: Apr 2015
  • Floor area: 16m2
  • Sector: Religious
  • Total cost: £45,000
  • Funding: Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Tender date: May 2013
  • Procurement: Exchange of Letter
  • Address: Rochester Cathedral, The Precinct, Kent, Rochester, ME1 1SX, United Kingdom

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