BISHOP EDWARD KING CHAPEL
Article Date: 01/01/2015
A Beautiful Fusion of Technology and Craftsmanship
Old historical heritage sites like Ripon College's Bishop Edward King Chapel speak high of its architects intelligent use of natural stone of high strength and beauty used to build it.
Very occasionally a building comes along which site so comfortably within in natural surroundings that it seems almost organics. Ripon College, which is a Theological in rural Oxfordshrie dates back to the 1850's. Bishop Edward King Chapel was funded by the sisters of the communities of St. John Baptist and the good shepherd and is named after Edward King who as a priest and then as a bishop was chaplain and then principal of Cuddesdon Theological College before becoming Bishop of Lincoln in 1885.
While the original structures by GE street are spread across a very generous and open site, it is immediately apparent that natural stone has been used extensively giving the building a common bond. The stone used 160 years ago would have been quarried locally but is no longer available. One of the reasons that the buildings, the chapel is one of two new buildings on the site, feel so at home within their surroundings in the meticulous detail that has gone into the stone selection embracing the extensive experience of Harrison Goldman Stone Consultants.
Peter Harrison, Chairman of Harrison Goldman, past president of Stone Federation Great Britain (SFGB) and a Deputy Chairman of the SFGB technical committee has great linking for natural stone. He feels that cast stone lacks the soul of natural stone which has a unique patina providing both a depth and a life of its own. The stone weathers giving the building a maturity and a very individual appearance. Bishop Edward King Chapel is one of the best projects says Peter Harrison. According to him it is at par with Diana Memorial and work on Buckingham Palace where he has been commissioned as the specialist natural stone consultant.
In his projects Peter Harrison has used natural stone, specially Clipsham Limestone from Stamford stone quarry, in his projects such as in oxford as well as in Kings College Chapel in Cambridge and in York Minster and Windsor Castle as for back as too years ago.
The use of natural stone for the whole of the Bishop Edward King Chapel has enhanced both the building design and its serenity within its environment. The maternity of stone facades within the existing college buildings provide just enough of a contrasting back drop to provide centre stage for the new kind on the block and show it in its best light. Whist there was 3D Modeling and BIM and CADI good old fashioned craftsmanship involved in hard cutting the stone was involved in a large scale.
Commenting on Bishop Edward King Chapel, the college principal, Rev Canon Prof. Marlyn Perey said "The new Bishop Edward King Chapel sits at the heart of our worshiping community. It is not just a beautiful building but a work of art which touches the sprit and captures our hope for the church and the world and for the shaping of religious and spiritual life. We are delighted to not only have a building which serves the needs of the college but is also a shining piece of architecture".
Bishop Edward King Chapel bears testament to the incredible levels of specialist expertise that remain in the UK construction industry. Perhaps what is more important is that when many of the steel and glass structures have come and gone their will remain as a showcase not only of the 21st century technology and craftsmanship.