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Final designs for new Mary Rose home revealed

The final design of the new Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth has been revealed.

Wilkinson Eyre's competition-winning project, which will house Henry VIII's favourite warship, is to become a key visitor attraction in the heart of the city's historic dockyard.

The scheme, selected ahead of stiff competition last May (AJ 05.05.05), has been drawn up with fit-out specialists Pringle Brandon and exhibition experts Land Design Studio.

It has been more than two decades years since the hull of the Mary Rosewas dramatically raised from the bed of the River Solent, its home for nearly 500 years.

The hull will remain on its original recovery cradle, and will be reunited with many thousands of unseen artefacts.

Externally, the building has been designed as 'a minimal volume, its curvilinear geometry derived from the dry dock it protects' - the dry dock itself being a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The new museum will also respect important sight lines around HMS Victory, which is also in the dock.

Describing the project, a spokesman said: 'The Mary Rose Museum will be a time capsule through which visitors will be able to take a unique journey through a slice of Tudor England.

'Journeying through the 1,700m 2of gallery space across three floors, the visitor will learn the history of Henry VIII's favourite ship, experiencing her tragic sinking in 1545 - after 34 years of successful service - and the lives of the seamen and officers who served on the Mary Rose.'

The museum is expected to open its doors in 2011, to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the ship's maiden voyage.

by Richard Waite

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