Bookshop and Refectory up for Design Award

Bookshop and Refectory up for Design Award

News September 8, 2014


Southwell Minster bookshop and refectory have been shortlisted for a coveted SBID International Design Award 2014.

The SBID International Design Awards is one of the most prestigious events in the design industry calendar. They serve to recognise, reward and celebrate design excellence across a broad range of categories. Winning a SBID International Design Award is a high achievement as they are voted for exclusively by leading industry experts both for technical content and aesthetic creativity. The winners showcase event and ceremony takes place in Paris this month.

Nottinghamshire designers, Jamie Hempsall Ltd were approached to re-design the interior spaces for the cathedral bookshop and the independently run refectory, and the project was subsequently nominated.

Former Dean of Southwell, the Very Revd John Guille unveiled a plaque at the official re-opening of the refectory and shop in April, and business has been booming over the summer months.

Manager, Alison Baker says: “The cathedral shop is now an exciting and vibrant place to work and shop, we have been able to expand our ranges of gifts and books and focus on UK suppliers. The layout is very wheelchair friendly and the feedback from customers is fantastic!”

The 1990s interiors featured orange stained wood, fussy layouts and problems with echoing acoustics. The two spaces had small separate entrances divided by an unwelcoming lobby. The remit was to design an interior that maximised internal space; cross-fertilised shop & refectory sales and ensured reference to a Christian offering, whilst appealing to all visitors. The resulting design eliminated dividing walls, thus removing the unwelcoming corridor and integrating the commercial spaces.

A background palette of greys calm and contemporise the interior with brightly coloured lights, shelving and ceiling sculptures which create visual excitement amongst an air of tranquility, and the central retail display area is an abstract cross. Refectory Banquette seating mimics the Minster pews. The Refectory also has ‘trompe l’oeil’ features including an architectural plan and specials boards incorporating the Minster Towers.

The Awards will be judged by international industry leaders, among them is Ben McOwen Wilson, Director of YouTube EMEA; Kevin Mau, Senior Creative Director at The Boeing Company; Christopher Jenner, Creative Director of Eurostar, David Lewis, Managing Director of Sunseeker London and Jane Preston, Facilities Manager UK, Real Estate & Workplace Services, Google.