Moto Designshop has been selected to design new, permanent housing and display for the historic Great Bell housed at Christ Church in Philadelphia, PA. The Great Bell predates the Liberty Bell by fifty years and may prove to be the earliest surviving bell in North America. Metallurgical experts have concluded that, unlike the Liberty Bell, Christ Church’s 1702 bell can be safely rung.
The project includes placing the Great Bell in the Church’s flowering north garden, a space tended by the parish as a sacred and community space. The modest and constrained space is inspired by the Bell’s potential to have context and continuity with the many visitors that will gaze upon it. This context is created by keeping the bell at eye level. It is context created by not just seeing the bell – at a distance or as a museum artifact - but rather experiencing the bell in all of its detail, character and patina. It is context created by the stories that surround the bell in written word, and those spoken by its passionate guides. It is context created by allowing the bell to be a tangible and approachable record of history.
Construction is due for completion in time for the Great Bell’s dedication Fall 2014.
Video of this project is available at http://vimeo.com/75507318
Status: Under Construction
Location: Philadelphia, PA
My Role: Design Architect