The masons’ marks on Ripon Cathedral’s west front show it was built by the finest craftsmen in England and Europe; so when the cathedral decided to install a stunning glass porch, it was essential the project was as finely crafted and durable as the building itself.
Two years on and the resulting Narthex Entrance has had nearly 200,000 visitors as well as regular worshippers pass through its automatic glass doors. The brief was to create a welcoming new entrance that would transform the cathedral, flooding it with light and allowing people to see directly inside.
The operating system has been programmed to allow visitors in by one door and out by the other, thus controlling the flow of people through the cathedral. To complete the look, the operators feature a bronze finish carefully matched to the architectural bronze metalwork of the Narthex Entrance.
Canon Keith Punshon explained that Ripon Cathedral wanted to make a fundamental change to the way people enter the cathedral – to create an entrance of national quality that would allow those outside to see in, and vice versa.
He said, “There are very few glass doors in cathedrals. The new entrance is the most amazing transformation and has worked exactly as we wanted it to, allowing us to engage with the community. In fact, it’s so unique that people often stop to take pictures of the doors.”