Lynch Architects

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Baldacchino

The Blessed Cardinal Newman is to be made a saint in Autumn 2019. This white concrete monumental Baldacchino (part of our competition winning proposals for Westminster Cathedral Piazza from 2011), is designed in honour of this event, and would sit in front of Westminster Cathedral on Victoria Street in London. It is modelled on the Baldacchino in St Peter’s in Rome, which Pope Urban VIII commissioned from GL Bernini in the 17th Century, to mark the grave of the first Bishop of Rome. Bernini’s Baldacchino acted as a setting for poets and musicians; as a sort of festive cosmic gateway. Our proposal houses a drinking fountain at its base, that can also function as a baptismal font. The crown above is plain on three faces, with niches waiting to accept stone-carved Tondos of future saints. The fourth face will accommodate a Bas Relief sculpture of Saint John Henry Newman. On sunny days, a stained-glass disk, situated within the dome, will project trans-illumination (coloured light), onto the structure and people below. We are hopeful that the Baldacchino will be built in time for the first anniversary of the feast day of Saint John Henry Newman, which will fall on 13th October 2020.

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