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The Army’s history retold

The Army’s history retold - read more
Projects |

The National Army Museum (NAM) in Chelsea, London, has been transformed through a £23m project, Building for the Future.

Established by Royal Charter to tell the story of the Land Forces of the Crown, the museum has undergone a ‘complete reconfiguration’. NAM managing director Ray Hutchinson said this was sorely needed to develop a more welcoming, accessible and flexible environment.

An £11.5m Heritage Lottery grant covered part of the total project cost. Carole Souter, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, noted that this ‘radical overhaul of its exhibition and educational spaces’ would ‘transform how it tells the history of the Army over the last 600 years to the present.’

Gilbert-Ash collaborated with the interdisciplinary designers at BDP to refurbish and extend the museum. Tim Leach, BDP architect director, commented:

"The creative adaptation of this major UK museum presents a wonderful opportunity to reorder the building, re-present the collections and communicate to a wider audience the significance of the Army Story."

BDP and Event Communications, a leading exhibition design group, consulted the museum’s internal team to update and reinterpret the story of the British Army and to present the collection. The teams used increased glazing to open up the building and invite people in.

The project includes a new two-storey extension, café, Kids’ Zone play area, a central atrium, five innovative new gallery spaces and education facilities. A key aim was to improve the flow of visitors around the exhibits, which will include many previously unseen items. The restrictive corridors and cramped spaces of the old interior are now things of the past.

Our Quadra door system was selected to maintain the pristine finish of the modern interior by concealing riser doors and service cupboards. An economical solution with high fire resistance, it is also valued for being quick and simple to install.

The museum, which is located next to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, is due to reopen in late 2016. For more information, visit www.nam.ac.uk.

Images © National Army Museum

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