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Kennedy O’Callaghan's Bletchley Park visitor centre open doors

Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects has completed the £8 million renovation of Bletchley Park, the home of the World War II code breakers, near Milton Keynes

The campus has re-opened following the restoration of two timber code breaking huts to their wartime condition and the conversion of a third hut into a visitor centre.

Each of the derelict huts have been refurbished and returned to their original layout with all internal post-war partitions removed to restore the open plan arrangement.

Housed in the Block C, where analysis of encrypted messages took place, the visitor centre contains an introductory exhibition to the site as well as a shop and cafe.

Conservation specialists Kennedy O’Callaghan architects was appointed as masterplan and conservation architects following a two-stage competition in 2010.


Architect’s view

Janie Price, director, Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects

Our conservation approach was to let the buildings speak for themselves and to reveal their story. We limited modern interventions to only what was required for stability and visitor safety and we retained authenticity by keeping as much wartime fabric as possible, to allow the buildings to reveal themselves bay by bay.

Wartime colours were reinstated after laboratory analysis and light fittings were reproduced from historic images. The timber huts have been lovingly repaired by the craftsmen on site who took minimal intervention to heart and completed the careful repairs required to maintain authenticity.

Project data

Start on site March 2013
Date of completion June 2014
Gross internal floor area Block C 1970m², Hut 1 (original timber hut) 57m², Hut 3 530m², Hut 6 273m², Building 58: 116m²
Total cost Estimated £8m
1. Total Build Cost for Huts 3 and 6 £916,000 including prelims and variations.
2. Block C £1,887,000
3. Landscape £870,000
4. Blast Walls £60,000
Form of contract JCT with Contractors Design
Client Bletchley Park Trust
Architect Kennedy O’Callaghan Architects
Structural engineer Alan Baxter & Associates
M&E Eengineer King Shaw Associates
Quantity surveyor Artelia UK
Main contractor Fairhurst Ward Abbotts
Project manager (from RIBA stage E): Artelia UK
Interpretation Event communications
Historic paint consultants Crick Smith
Environmental investigations Hutton and Rostron

Readers' comments (1)

  • Is the traffic cone a permanent feature to stop people tripping offf the edge of the steps? What about an unobtrusive hand-rail? What about level or sloping access to make access easier for people with walking difficulties?

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