Exercise: Exploring Function

Choose any interior space, either domestic or public, and consider it from the point of view of its function, who uses it and will use it? What is it intended to be used for and how many different aspects are there to that activity?

Note what you think the space ought to be doing:-

I’ve chosen the Anglican cathedral in Liverpool

– Provided a space for worship

– A place for tourists to visit

– A place for ceremony

– A place to publicise events and the cathedral

– Providing a shop to bring funds into the cathedral

– Providing a space for people to get food and drink

I think the space manages to succeed, however I feel that it only succeeds in providing such a varied use within one building is due to its size. As a cathedral it has very clear areas for the worship and ceremony which does include graduations for the local university. Over time it has added and expanded into the side spaces and there is now a restaurant, a shop and above the shop is a coffee shop.

The image that I’ve chosen from those that I have taken in the cathedral is one that shows three functions in one, the glass and stonework of the traditional cathedral, the shop with people (are they tourists?) browsing and the café above the shop. I graduated here and I remember the shop and the restaurant but the coffee shop above has been added recently.


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