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The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral

1 May 2022

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral, 7 Abbey Street, Carlisle, North West England, UK

6 projects have been awarded RIBA North West Awards – including a reimagined library in Liverpool and the UK’s first stainless steel road bridge in Penrith.

Design: Feilden Fowles Architects

The Fratry at Carlisle Cathedral

Jury Report

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral building
photo © Peter Cook

The project articulates a journey from concept to occupation; creating an engaging piece of placemaking where community input has enabled the delivery of social value. The architects have undertaken an award-winning piece of discerning conservation, creating a new build café facility whilst restoring and re-purposing the existing fratry with community space.

The project was lottery funded and the café had to be visible to bring in revenue. The resultant building is sited to reform the cloister and thereby create a courtyard space for external use and connections back into the town. Although visible to the general public, there was a desire to control the height of the cafe to retain a sight line to surrounding historic buildings.

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral building
photo © Peter Cook

The Fratry is a lesson in materiality and innovation where the architect has embraced the roll of master builder; teasing the brief into a delightful solution. Every detail has been interrogated and every pound maximised. The architect has led the team to achieve the best quality possible within budget and has ensured lessons in the approach of past craftspeople live on.

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral building
photo © Peter Cook

The café’s arches are self-supporting CNC cut stone, sourced and cut locally. The subtle choice of degrees of depth and shadowing, along with attention to the grain of each piece of stone adds a delightful level of sophistication to the elevations. The connection back to the historic fratry is designed and constructed in a unique structural bronze diagrid, thereby creating an elegant and minimal foyer to the existing building and contributing a level of ingenuity in the mediating of old and new.

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral building
photo © Peter Cook

The client’s satisfaction is clear – the vision was to extend their offering to the wider population and the project has delivered on every level. The commitment and shared ambition of the architect, client and voluntary advisor is clear to see and the resultant uplifting spirit of the community is evident in the throng of the café use, educational basement space and general passers-by. The Fratry delivers an exemplary narrative of conservation, re-purposing and ingenuity in new-build construction whilst delivering a piece of city pride and inclusivity.

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral building
photo © Peter Cook

The Fratry, Carlisle Cathedral – Building Information

RIBA region: North West
Architect practice: Feilden Fowles
Date of completion: Jun 2020
Date of occupation: Jul 2020
Client company name: Carlisle Cathedral
Project city/town: Carlisle

Contract value: £2,490,300.00
Gross internal area: 185.00 m²
Net internal area: 145.00 m²
Cost per m²: £5,313.00 / m²
This is the cost/m2 for the pavilion (new build) only.
Contractor company name: Cubby Construction

Consultants

Structural Engineers: Structure Workshop
Project Management: Frank Whittle Partnership
Environmental / M&E Engineers: Bob Costello Associates
Conservation Structural Engineer: Stand Engineers
Surveyor of the fabric: Buttress

Awards

• RIBA Regional Award
• Regional Project Architect of the Year
• Regional Award Short List

Cathedral building designs

2022 RIBA North West Awards Winners

2022 RIBA North West Awards Winners

Location: 7 Abbey St, Carlisle CA3 8TZ, England, United Kingdom

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