By IRIS CONLA Y
IN five years Liverpool will have a cathedral as challengingly original in design and as typical a product of our times as that of Brasillia which, in its tent-like, circular form, it somewhat resembles.
Its architect, Frederick Gibberd, designer of London Airport, Harlow New Town and the new town of Santa Teresa in Venezuela, is the winner of the competition set for Liverpool's Cathedral of Christ the King.
He faced with fortitude a barrage of questions from the press last week, disarming us completely when he did not know the answers by explaining: ,"I've only had the job two days." Sir Basil Spence, David Stokes and Archbishop Heenan of Liverpool, the assessors were also present and the Archbishop was obviously delighted with the prospect of his new cathedral. He said so very emphatically. adding: "We should never have got such a good design in any other way."
Most of the details of decor are
yet undecided but Mr. Gibberd told me he has many ideas for using metal as well as stone for sculpture and he wants no hanging light fittings to clutter the roof. In height, the building is only 20ft. lower than St. Paul's.
Mr. Gibberd, a Non-conformist, has a very clear understanding of the requirements of a Catholic church. He says of his building: "It is designed as a place of corporate worship in which the congregation is at one with the clergy. It is a liturgical space. All is directed towards an ultimate association of the laity with the High Altar.
"A purely intellectual exercise in structural mechanics could produce the most stimulating ways of sheltering three thousand people from the elements--the hyperbolic parabola, the space frame, the shell dome—hut the object has been to give formal expression to a liturgical statement of belief in God rather than the ingenuity of man."