Giant Orb unveiled at York Minster

Mather & Co has completed work on the Orb installation at York Minster, an interactive metallic dome designed to showcase conserved panels of stained glass from the cathedral’s East Front.

The Orb from above
The Orb from above

The Orb’s opening to the public on 27 October marks the completion of the first phase of York Minster Revealed, a five-year £10.5 million project to restore the cathedral and transform its visitor experience.

Standing 10m wide and 3m tall, The Orb sits within York Minster’s Lady Chapel and contains illuminated displays of restored glass from the cathedral, including some from the Great East Window, one of the world’s largest stained-glass windows, painted between 1405 and 1408.

Gardiner with The Orb
Mather & Co’s Harvey Gardiner with The Orb

Four panels will be permanently on display and one will rotate monthly, demonstrating the on going conservation work being carried out at York Minster.

Phase one will also see the opening of interactives in the All Saints Chapel, explaining the work of stonemasons, and in St Stephen’s Chapel, showing the role of glaziers through touch-screen games, AV, graphics and sculpture.

The Orb has been delivered as part of phase one of York Minster Revealed
The Orb has been delivered as part of phase one of York Minster Revealed

Meanwhile Mather & Co will also carry out further interpretive work in the Undercroft, Treasury and Crypt areas. This will involve telling the stories of archeological remains found when excavating the undercroft to shore up the cathedral.

Mather & Co project director Harvey Gardiner says, ‘We’ve evolved a ribbon device to interact with the Roman, Saxon and Norman confined spaces; it’s a vision to link them together.’

Inside The Orb
Inside The Orb

The ribbon, a physical metallic structure, will be bedded in around the remains, and encourage visitors to interact with the surface area at notable intersections.

The Orb has been delivered as part of phase one of York Minster Revealed
One of the 15th-century stained glass windows on display

Meanwhile the Treasury and Crypt ‘will showcase never displayed objects with integrated media,’ says Gardiner.

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