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Hugh Broughton Architects wins Maidstone competition

Hugh Broughton Architects has won the design competition to revamp the Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery in Kent.

The triumphant practice, best known for its British Antarctic research base, which is yet to be built, saw off four other practices to land the ‘ambitious’ 2.74 million scheme to improve the museum’s facilities.The other finalists were Snell Associates, Atkins, Mackay & Partners and Featherstone Associates.Museum chiefs are hoping that the scheme, which will form the second phase of the building’s redevelopment following the renovation of the west wing in 2003, will receive a much-needed cash injection from the Heritage Lottery Fund later in the year.Chair of the judging panel, Malcolm Reading, said: ‘We all hugely enjoyed interviewing these teams of capable, enthusiastic designers and each brought a refreshingly different perspective to Maidstone Museum’s challenging brief.’In the end, the unanimous decision was [for] the Broughton team because they demonstrated great clarity of thinking about the brief and empathy with the eclectic nature of the existing building and the collections.’He added: ‘A very happy client and an excellent example of the value of the competition process.’Practice founder Hugh Broughton admitted he was thrilled to scoop the RIBA-organised competition. He said: ‘We are really looking forward to working with the council to increase public access to the collection, and enhance the visitor experience at the museum through the careful integration of contemporary interventions into this historic setting.’by Richard Waite

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