May 18th, 2014

corinium

Taking Out The Pews

A couple of Sandwich's big medieval churches have been handed over to the Churches Conservation Trust and it's taken out the seating.

You put pews or chairs in a church and it becomes a space that can only be used in one way: performers at the east end, audience- seated passively- to the west. Remove  the seating and you create a huge, barn-like space- multifunctional, omnidirectional.  The aisles cease to exist, leaving the one, large room- unobstructed- squarer than it looked before- a basilica- broken up with pillars which no longer mark out a set of narrow pathways but simply support the roof.  The building has been democratized, taken away from the priests, its meaning opened up to interpretation.