The Common Wealth Table by Intervention Architecture


Project Info


  • Intervention Architecture


  • Birmingham Cathedral
  • Arts&Heritage
  • Birmingham City Council
  • B'ham 2022 Commonwealth Games
  • Grand Union
  • Plane Structure

The Common Wealth Table was commissioned by Birmingham Cathedral with Arts&Heritage and designed by interdisciplinary creative studio Intervention Architecture as a place to encourage dwell time, new conversations and wellbeing in the city centre. 

The temporary covered sculpture was commissioned to encourage interactions in the cathedral grounds – a busy public location and one of the few green spaces in Birmingham City Centre, also affectionately known as Pigeon Park. It’s a place where many gather to spend time but don’t necessarily have the opportunity to meet with others or dwell in comfort. 

To encourage this, the table was comprised of comfortable modular seating that allowed for small groups to sit or mingle, a large canopy to shelter from sun and rain, as well as fragrant edible herbs from Urban Herbs. The table itself was built by Birmingham fabricator Plane Structure following Intervention Architecture’s designs. 

The Common Wealth Table was both casually used and could be booked for a special group meal, workshop, event or performance. The table was used by community groups including The Chinese Community Centre – Birmingham; Focus Birmingham; Migrant Voice and Near Neighbours, including an event in partnership with the cathedral marking 75 years since Partition. 

As part of the wider season of gatherings, meetings and events inaugurated by the table, the cathedral also played a part in supporting gallery & artist studio complex Grand Union for both a premiere event of artist Alberta Whittle’s new film Congregation (Creating Dangerously) (on-site) and their Harvest Dinner to celebrate the wider work of Grand Union’s The Growing Project and the communities that they work with and care for (off-site).

At the end of the project, plants were re-homed and individual seating modules distributed to community groups within the West Midlands. 


The Common Wealth Table is a Creative City Project supported by Birmingham City Council as part of Birmingham 2022 Festival for the Commonwealth Games.

7 July – 6 November 2022

This project was created with consultancy support from Arts&Heritage. 

Photography Paul Miller

The Artist

Intervention Architecture Ltd (IA) is an interdisciplinary design studio based in Birmingham.

IA’s way of working is collaborative and open, to enable extensive exploration of ideas, an inherent appreciation for craft, and the value of workmanship and materials.

IA is an award winning, RIBA chartered architecture practice, a young boutique studio, with a rigorous design approach, from development of sketches to material details, to the making of space and collective involvement, all are essential to the realisation of its projects. From community-led architectural regenerations, to artist collaborations, IA invites people to become engaged with space in innovative ways.