Cathedral wins Getty Foundation grant
LIVERPOOL Metropolitan Cathedral has been
awarded a £138,000 grant from the Getty Foundation to fund conservation and
repair works to the Grade II* listed cathedral. Architects Purcell are leading
the project, which will include a programme of research and conservation to the
'crown of glass', the cathedral's distinctive lantern.
The lantern is a highly significant piece of pioneering 20th Century design
which utilised an innovative mix of stained glass fragments supported by epoxy
resin, known as 'dalle de verre'. It was designed and made by artists John Piper
and Patrick Reyntiens, who also collaborated on the new Coventry Cathedral. For
the restoration work, it is vital to preserve as much existing material as is
technically possible. The project team has already undertaken extensive analysis
and testing to understand the condition and stability of the glass and resin.
The next steps are to introduce environmental and water monitoring systems,
upgrade all of the maintenance access locations to facilitate internal
inspections and to prepare sample panels for laboratory testing. Purcell's
heritage experts have also produced a conservation statement for the funding
application and are planning to produce a conservation management plan for the
Lead architect at Purcell, Matt Dyer, commented:- "The Getty Foundation is
such a renowned organisation and to be awarded this grant as part of their 'Keeping it Modern'
scheme is an honour. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is an exemplar building
demonstrating innovative and unique 20th Century architecture, and the
preservation of the building and the lantern is of the highest importance. I
look forward to implementing the money from the grant to ensure that future
generations will be able to enjoy and appreciate the building as we do."
Canon Anthony O'Brien commented:- "On behalf of the Metropolitan Cathedral
we are very grateful and honoured to receive this grant from the Getty
Foundation. Not only will this provide valuable financial assistance for
research into the best methods of conserving dalle de verre glass that forms
such an important part of the architectural design of our Cathedral but our
research and trials will also be of assistance to other buildings with similar
problems as ours. This award gives international recognition to the
architectural significance of our Cathedral as 1 of the exemplary buildings of
the 20th century."
The programme of investigation and testing will commence shortly, with trial
repairs to be undertaken in the next 12 months.