Dublin’s Christ Church Cathedral has just completed a major reinvention of its forecourt area or ‘garth’, creating a stunning new landscape to set off the historic place of worship and heritage site. The scheme includes a new contemporary viewing platform overlooking the garth with its inlaid stone labyrinth, “inviting local and international pilgrims alike to partake in the sense of spiritual journey which is at the heart of the cathedral”. The project also sees the restoration of the former carriage gates into the garth, which will now form the principle entrance into the cathedral grounds, and spectacular floodlighting of the landmark.
Christ Church Cathedral is one of the city’s oldest buildings, with the first building erected in 1030. The cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough and one of the country’s principle places of worship. Through the centuries the building was rebuilt and adapted and its current appearance dates to an extensive (and controversial) restoration under the the architect George Street in 1871. The whiskey baron, Henry Roe, famously ploughed his fortune into the project, that also saw the creation of the adjoining Synod Hall (now Dublinia) from a remodelled St Michael’s Church.
The Cathedral is at the centre of religious life in the city, but it is also one of the capital’s most important heritage sites and a centre for culture and events. Each year it draws over 200,000 visitors and the numbers grow each year. The new forecourt is intended to better manage visitors as well as to showcase one of the city’s most important buildings. The project was part funded by Fáilte Ireland under its Dubline Capital Investment Scheme. The design and execution was undertaken with Bernard Seymour Landscape Architects.
It makes for a stunning reinvention of Dublin’s oldest cathedral. Read more about the Cathedral at www.christchurchcathedral.ie.