Over the period of eighteen months during 2003/2004 Forster & Heighes developed a proposal for an installation in the tower of Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The project was derived from a body of work begun in March 2000 examining the transitional period of British architecture in the 1930’s represented in particular by the work of Sir Giles Gilbert Scott. The resulting installation commissioned for the Cathedral’s Centenary programme was an attempt to celebrate and articulate the grand silent spaces that characterise Scott’s work.

Cathedral

Familiar only to the bell-ringers and a few cathedral staff, Giles Gilbert Scott’s bell chamber, ringing chamber and sound void, derive their power not just from their vast size and monumental construction, but also from their relatively ‘unpeopled’, unmediated nature. High above the bustling nave they remain notional, ‘yet to be navigated’ spaces. Ostensibly built for one purpose, the transmission of bell sound, the tower is contradictory in nature; its many vents make it both open and closed to the world, and its massive height make it visible to all Liverpool and beyond, yet it remains essentially mysterious and unknown. Throughout the century of its building the tower has been a probe, absorbing, filtering and projecting the sounds of the city - sirens wailing, bombs dropping, crowds roaring, ships leaving port – carried on the moist, cold, dark and fast air of the weather, the presence of the city has inhabited the tower constantly.

 

Entry to the Tower

 

Entry to the Tower