London’s Southwark Cathedral is opening its first visitor centre this month, with branding, displays and interiors created by London design consultancy Myriad Productions.
The centre aims to tell the history of Southwark and the work of the cathedral, the oldest cathedral church building in London, from the Roman era to modern times. It will feature archeological finds, such as a 1m-high Roman god, as well as films, videos and interactive installations.
“Myriad gave us heaps of ideas on how to make it a modern, highly interactive centre,” says the Reverend Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark. “We want to leave other cathedral visitor centres in the shade. Southwark is steeped in history as it was located next to the only river thoroughfare in the city, London Bridge, for over 800 years.” He says research work undertaken in conjunction with Myriad revealed some interesting information, such as the fact that Guy Fawkes was a servant at Southwark Cathedral.
The centre, which aims to open at the end of January, will provide an “off-the-wall view of London”, says Myriad project co-ordinator Ian Mansel-Thomas.
Displays inside include a 360degree view simulator from the top of the cathedral, which visitors can manoeuvre from inside the centre, and a 24-hour time-lapse film, projected on to a large, wok-style screen. This was filmed over the course of a day from the top of London Bridge. The centre will also feature interactive CD-ROMs and a video theatre.
Located between Southwark Cathedral and the River Thames, it will be branded The Long View of London after a series of 17th century sketches of the city.