vHH began to work with Leicester Cathedral in 2008, to reorder their grade II* listed building to serve contemporary liturgy. Following identification of Richard III, Chapter asked us to integrate his memorial within our masterplan. The project, which transformed the chancel to create the King’s resting place and to deliver a fundamental reordering objective (relocating the sanctuary from the east end to the heart of the cathedral), has received an unprecedented amount of interest and recognition since its opening.
The project was shortlisted for two RICS Awards in 2016, and won 3 x RIBA Regional Awards in May, including Building of the Year and Project Architect of the Year for Partner James McCosh.
Richard III’s reinterment took place in March 2015. By enhancing the physical quality of the cathedral and making its heritage tangible, the project has been transformational for the cathedral’s liturgy and its public perception (over 12 times the visitor numbers) and is reinvigorating the local economy, attracting inward investment and focussing the community’s sense of pride.
“The reinterment of King Richard III in March 2015 was an event of national significance and international interest and continues to bring Leicester Cathedral to the attention of tens of thousands of people every year. The relationships formed with Josh and his team at vHH were integral to the success of the project. So we are thrilled that this award recognises the excellence of the design and craftsmanship involved. We are now responding to the fresh challenges and opportunities this has brought for our core mission as a place of faith and hope in an increasingly fractured society.”
Dean of Leicester , the Very Rev’d David Monteith
“Having been working with the Cathedral on its plans for reordering prior to the discovery of Richard IIIs remains, we recognised that this unprecedented discovery could be a catalyst for the Cathedral’s reordering and play a hugely positive role in the regeneration of central Leicester. The challenge of completing the work within the short timescale allowed was substantial. It is testament to the positive teamwork developed with the cathedral and its stakeholders that the quality of the project is so high, and that it has had such a transformative effect on the surrounding area. We are delighted that their efforts have been recognised by this National RIBA award.”
James McCosh – Partner at vHH Architects & Project Architect