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Competition: Elizabethan House, Plymouth

Elizabethan House, Plymouth
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Plymouth City Council is seeking a design team for a £2.3 million restoration of its Grade II*-listed Elizabethan House museum

The team chosen for the estimated £500,000 commission will deliver a major overhaul and internal reinterpretation of the early 17th-century landmark on New Street close to the city’s waterfront and marina.

The project will create a visitor centre featuring a ‘bold and innovative’ exhibition space inside the building in time for 2020, the 400th-anniversary celebrations of the Mayflower setting sail for the New World.

In its brief, the council says it is ‘seeking a team that has the imagination, skills, relevant experience and capacity to reinterpret this historic property. We expect that team to design and deliver to an award-winning standard and to our challenging timeframe.

‘Plymouth City Council are open to unique design concepts that recognise the historic and architectural integrity of the property, and designers who are able to imagine a new visitor experience that blends the best of historic house museums, site-specific theatre and interactivity.’

Plymouth, on Devon’s south coast, grew from a Roman settlement to become a major port and later naval shipbuilding base. In 1620 the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ set sail for America from Plymouth and established a second English settlement known as the Plymouth Colony.

The Elizabethan House was created in the early 1600s as part of an expansion of the busy port city. The large three-storey townhouse was occupied by either a merchant or sea captain but fell into disrepair. In the 1920s, it was rescued from demolition and restored.

The latest project seeks a ‘bold, immersive and interactive’ vision to unlock the potential of the 400-year-old structure which closed to the public two years ago and is midway through a £1.2 million package of conservation works by DHV Architects.

The competition aims to deliver a landmark and sustainable visitor experience, embracing the history of the house, its gardens and the wider city, while also engaging with local community and stakeholders in the design process.

The deadline for applications is 20 July.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

John Collins
Plymouth City Council
Ballard House
West Hoe Road
Plymouth
PL1 3BJ

Tel: +44 1752307758
Email: john.collins2@plymouth.gov.uk 

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