No. 1 Smithery Chatham, Historic Dockyard Building Kent, Architect, Photos, Award

No. 1 Smithery, Chatham

Building in Kent, Southeast England design by van Heyningen and Haward Architects, UK

19 May 2011

No. 1 Smithery, Chatham Dockyard Building

Design: van Heyningen and Haward Architects

No. 1 Smithery No. 1 Smithery No. 1 Smithery
photos © James Brittain

RIBA Award winner, 19th of May 2011

This is a museum within the museum; its function is to show both building and the objects it houses. The ‘falling-down’ majesty of the existing buildings has been artfully retained and gently restored. The new exhibition spaces are constructed as separate elements – highly insulated, air tight, with thermal mass – they require very little beyond minimal temperature control, and low lighting.

They provide a sophisticated 21st century museum environment, and successfully operate within the conserved, historic fabric. These rendered abstract boxes sit quietly within the stately Georgian sheds; once inside, you are within a space that commands no presence and is purely dedicated to the display of the exhibits within. The plain and stark contrast between these two places is dramatic.

No. 1 Smithery No. 1 Smithery
photos © James Brittain

No. 1 Smithery Chatham – Building Information

Title: No. 1 Smithery
Location: The Historic Dockyard, Chatham
Architect: van Heyningen and Haward Architects
Client: Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Imperial War Museum, National Maritime Museum
Contractor: Kingswood Construction (Emergency Stabilisation Works), RG Barwick, ISG Interior/Exterior (Main works completion)
Contract Value: £9.5m
Completion Date: Jul 2010
Gross internal area: 4445 sqm

van Heyningen and Haward Architects

RIBA Awards

Location: Chatham, Kent, south east England, UK

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