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David Gates
Designs for St Giles the Abbot Church


St Giles the Abbot Church
Farnborough, Kent

June 6, 2004

cabinet work and vestry fitments

Gates completed this design and made the project in situ at St Giles the Abbot Church. This project examined ideas of the historic and contemporary in terms of the aesthetic and materiality of church woodworking. An extensive user-centred design process involved consultation and discussion with user-groups, architects, the diocese and with reference to conservation bodies.

The work comprises fitted cabinet-work to two 3x3x3m vestries, desking, wardrobing and other uses. The brief was to bring contemporary design-led craftsmanship to bear on functional requirements in an historically sensitive location, while referencing existing joinery and cabinetwork in the church, dating variously from the 12th - 20th centuries.

Much of the work was constructed in the workshop to maintain high production standards, then transported for assembly to the site. This required development and execution of innovate demountable jointing techniques to facilitate access and accommodate geometric variance in the architecture. The design and make process was made explicit and was open to inspection and discussion with the user community throughout. All materials comply with necessary regulations.

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London Metropolitan University