The practice was commissioned to produce a landscape masterplan for improving the whole of the Cathedral precincts, the Green, Cloisters and West Front. The area was an important and well-used public space, with a wealth of historical associations, which had suffered from heavy use and a period of neglect in recent years.
“Exeter Cathedral is a building of outstanding national and international importance. It deserved to be presented in a setting of the very highest
quality, attentive to history and character. ”
01 Our Vision
The Green functions as a pedestrian route across the city and a hugely popular space for informal recreation. Known locally as ‘the beach’, it is not unusual for it to accommodate up to 500 people when the weather is fine. We wanted to create an appropriate setting for the Cathedral and reflect the historical and cultural significance of the site, while also designing a space that would better accommodate the needs of the public in a 21st century city.
02 Our Process
We carry out rigorous research into any site before we start drawing, and our masterplan took account of the long history of the landscape around the Cathedral precincts as well as its archeological importance. We carried out a number of consultations and held two public exhibitions, so that all stakeholders could have a say about our proposals.
03 The Outcome
Among numerous improvements to this important landscape during Phase 1, we re-established a strong structure of tree planting, and moved the statue of Richard Hooker into a better position, so that it now defines the entrance to the Green and can be viewed at closer quarters. We also commissioned artwork to be embedded in the form of bronze roundels and poetry letter-cut into stone.