Oculus: An Eye Into St. Paul’s Cathedral

London, England

St. Paul's has stood at the City of London's highest point for 1,400 years. The present-day cathedral, where services began in 1697, is the masterpiece of Britain's most famous architect, Sir Christopher Wren. This first phase of a multi-year tourism program helps visitors learn about the cathedral's architecture, its history, and the Christian faith.

Presented in the crypt, a timeline illuminates its north aisle and highlights major events in the cathedral’s history. Advanced projection technology creates a 270-degree panoramic window into the cathedral’s ancient history, starting with its founding, in 604 CE. The twenty-minute audio-visual sequence evokes the dramatic history of place, and offers spectacular vistas of the city and behind-the-scenes footage of a day in the life of the cathedral. Areas that are physically inaccessible to visitors with mobility difficulties are represented virtually.

After the opening of Oculus, St. Paul’s was voted Visitor Attraction of the Year 2010 by UKinbound, a leading tourism association. The exhibition was also supported by the World Monuments Fund and has become one of London's top tourist destinations.

Year:
2010
Client:
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Size:

400 square feet

Awards:
  • Design Awards, Federal Republic of Germany, Nomination

  • Design Week Awards, Exhibition Design (UK)

© 2014, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Inc.