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New images of BDP's National Army Museum plans revealed

The National Army Museum has released the latest artist impressions of its £23.25m building redevelopment.

The redesign, which is being led by BDP, is the most ambitious piece of restructuring work performed on the Chelsea site in more than 30 years with redevelopment expected to begin over the next couple of months.

Under the plans, the ‘restrictive corridors and cramped spaces’ of the West London museum will be replaced with five additional galleries.

Increased glazing will open up the entrance of the building, creating a brighter, lighter space that encourages passers-by to look inside, while large open vistas centred around a central atrium will improve accessibility and museum navigation, a NAM spokeswoman said.

The museum, which this week received an £11.5m heritage lottery grant making up half of the total project cost, will also house a brand new café, Kids’ Zone play area, shop and learning spaces to create an improved social as well as learning experience.

‘Having achieved a successful response from Heritage Lottery Fund, the Museum will be putting in place finalised contracts for the remainder of the project with BDP in place as the lead design contractors and a supporting team to be confirmed in line with tender requirements,’ the spokeswoman said.

Redevelopment work on the building, which is located next to Christopher Wren’s Royal Hospital in Chelsea, is due to finish in 2016.

‘We are delighted to have secured this major grant, and cannot wait to get started on this hugely exciting project,’ Janice Murray, director general of the National Army Museum said. ‘Thanks to the help of the HLF, we will be able to enhance the Museum’s unique offering for our ever-growing audiences, ensuring we showcase and make available our outstanding collection all over the country.’

Carole Souter, chief executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund added: ‘This is a very exciting time for the National Army Museum: the long-awaited moment when it embarks on a radical overhaul of its exhibition and educational spaces. It will transform how it tells the history of the Army over the last 600 years to the present.’ 

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