Rooftop facilities planned for Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral

Westminster Cathedral

Plans for a revolving sushi bar, organic coffee shop and observation area on the roof of Westminster Cathedral are being unveiled later today. The project which has been designed by award-winning Italian architects Credotutti Rovinare working with Dutch design firm Tees Fond E Tett & Partners, will include state-of-the-art solar panels, a wind turbine and other energy-saving features.

The new facility will be entirely wheelchair accessible with glass tubular lifts on the outside of the building. The old Cathedral teashop is being transformed into a youth club for younger Cathedral parishioners.

Mr Rovinare said: "My team was honoured to be given this challenging project. We have studied the plans of the original architect John Francis Bentley and believe that our designs will blend discreetely with his work and the modern architecture of Cathedral Place."

He added: "With space at a premium in central London, this is a marvellous use of this building. For the first time in over a hundred years the general public will be able to see the spectacular views over the city."

A Cathedral spokesman said the building work should be completed by 2012 - "in time for the Olympics" - but he said most of the construction work would take place out of hours in order to cause minimum inconvenience to daily activities in the Cathedral.

The £22.5million project is being funded by a Lottery Grant and donations from Friends of Westminster Cathedral.

Source: Architects Journal/Tommasso Panzeri

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