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Competition: Fleet Air Arm Museum

The Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset
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The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is recruiting a design team for a major overhaul of the Fleet Air Arm Museum (FAAM) in Somerset

The winner of the £25,000 contract will draw up a draft vision, development programme and architectural concepts for the museum which is based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton and dedicated to the history of British naval aviation.

The project will deliver a ‘signature building’ for the museum in a yet-to-be-confirmed location, featuring large flexible galleries, digital infrastructure, up-to-date environmental standards, security facilities and a viewing area for live flying displays.

The Fleet Air Arm Museum was first established in 1964 and has grown from a small Royal Navy-run operation to a fully accredited museum. It is now one of the largest naval aviation museums in Europe, holding over 100 airframes, many with significant heritage merit. As a pay-to-enter museum, it is one of the top three tourist attractions in Somerset, attracting more than 100,000 visitors annually.

In its brief, NMRN says: ‘An internal assessment (2017) has concluded that the museum is in need of major investment to meet national museum standards of collections care, to provide a high-quality visitor experience and make it fit for the future. Before making an investment we wish to develop a new vision for the museum, to give clarity of understanding about its purpose and engage all of its stakeholders and communities in determining the most effective development options.’

The FAAM occupies a series of large warehouse buildings on the northern edge of Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton which is an active base home to the commando helicopter force and several Wildcat helicopters.

The 9,600m² museum contains a range of historic aircraft and models across four exhibition halls, including a Westland Dragonfly helicopter, a prototype de Havilland Sea Vampire, a MiG 15, and a BAC Concorde. Other displays include a recreation of the Ark Royal’s flight deck in the 1970s.

Applications for the overhaul will be evaluated 60 per cent on quality and 40 per cent on cost.

The deadline for applications is midday, 3 August.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Marc Farrance
National Museum of the Royal Navy
HM Naval Base PP66
Portsmouth
PO1 3NH

Tel: 01935 842622
Email: marc.farrance@nmrn.org.uk

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