New Cathedra and Crucifix for Leicester Cathedral

The Cathedra is a very important symbol of every Cathedral, as the seat of the Bishop and the place from which he teaches and presides at the Eucharist.

The reordering of Leicester Cathedral by vHH architects to create a place of honour for the reinterment of the remains of Richard III has provided the opportunity for the commission of a new Cathedra and a new Cross.

The design

Rather than a permanent “throne of power”, the new Cathedra design is lightweight and mobile, reflecting a contemporary vision for the role of a Bishop in the 21st century, as dynamic principal pastor.

Its folded geometry, while adding to the eclectic richness of Leicester Cathedral, is timeless and universal, in reference to the roots of the historic Church as well as to its future.

An open structure of wooden legs supports the seat, making it appear as suspended: dignity and status are addressed in the design with rigour, but without being imposing, shaping the “seat” of a Bishop who is part of the community and not separated from his people.

A Cross, fixed to one of the pillars facing the new altar, complements and enhances the design of the Cathedra marking its stationary position in the Church, when not moving.

Reassuringly firm and generously open, the folds that define the form of  these two symbolic objects are, at the same time, structural and ornamental.

Design and production team: Francesco Draisci, Rosalba Napolitano

Craft/Fabrication: Benchmark

Photos: Carlo Draisci