Shetland Museum and Archives, Photo, Architect, Design, Scottish Cultural Hub Project Image

Shetland Museum Building

Key Shetland Building, Scotland design by BDP Architects, UK

11 Oct 2007

Shetland Museum Building News

Date built: 2007

Design: BDP Architects

Shetland Museum Building
Shetland Museum photo © Mark Sinclair

Shetland Museum and Archives opened May 2007

Cost: £11.6m
cultural hub + visitor attraction
Facilities: café restaurant, archives, gift shop, boat restoration sheds, auditorium, learning room, exhibition space, administration space, curatorial space, conservation space
Materials: harled masonry walls, slate pitched roofs, timber windows
Key space: Boat Hall

BDP’s Shetland Museum Wins Top Prize At Wood Awards

17 Oct 2008

Shetland Museum and Archives, designed by BDP, has won the Gold Award in this year’s Wood Awards. The project was shortlisted in three categories, and won the Commercial and Public Access category, eventually going on to win the top prize at the award ceremony in London last night (15 October 2008). The awards aim to recognise, encourage and promote outstanding design, craftsmanship and installation in wood, the worlds most naturally sustainable material.

Shetland Museum
Shetland Museum photo © Mark Sinclair

Architect Angus Kerr said of receiving the award “We are extremely proud to have won the top award against such fantastic competition, there are a lot of good buildings using wood. BDP champion the use of wood in their projects as a sustainable alternative to many modern materials and Shetland Museum is a fine example of its use in an innovative and successful way.”

The museum represents an important new cultural hub as well as a major new visitor attraction and landmark for these fascinating islands. The new 3,500 m² building, which utilises old boatsheds, has five times the previous Museum display space and three times the previous archive storage area. Facilities include the café restaurant, an Archives repository and search room, gift shop boat restoration sheds, an auditorium seating 120, a learning room and a temporary exhibition space and administration, curatorial and conservation spaces.

Externally the building form is largely derived from traditional early Shetland buildings – Lodberries, whose gable ends rise from the sea – and is constructed of traditional materials of harled masonry walls, timber windows and slate pitched roofs.

Contrasting with these traditional forms, the building’ presence is punctuated by the iconic timber clad Boat Hall. Conceived as four large polygonal shapes, separated by narrow vertical glazed strips, their colour and form echo the sails of the Herring drifters which wintered in and around Hays Dock in the last century.

The Shetland Museum was chosen as a best practice example by the Scottish Executive in its strategy for architecture. It has won the Glasgow Institute of Architects Design Award and was shortlisted for both a British Construction Industry Award and the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award this year. It also reached a shortlist of the final four for The Art Fund prize (Formerly The Gulbenkian Prize) one of the most prestigious awards open to all museums and galleries in the UK, and is shortlisted in the world architecture festival awards due to be announced later this month in Barcelona.

BDP was lead consultant, architect, landscape architect, interior designer and acoustic consultant for the £11.6m building, which opened in June 2007.

PM’s Award
The Shetland Museum and Archives by BDP is the only Scottish project shortlisted out of 21 in the UK for the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award

Shetland Museum architect : BDP

Shetland Museum award : Wood Awards

Location: Shetland, Scotland, UK

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