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Competition: Osborne House visitor facilities

Osborne House
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English Heritage is seeking an architect for an £855,000 overhaul of visitor facilities at Grade I-listed Osborne House on the Isle of Wight

The winning team will design and deliver an upgrade of arrival spaces and refreshments areas at the historic summer house of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which was built by Thomas Cubitt in 1851.

The project, planned to complete in 2023, will revamp Osbourne House’s entrance, ticketing, retail and toilets while also improving education facilities and reconfiguring the estate’s Beach Café. Later projects will cover maintenance, the house itself and car parking.

In its brief, English Heritage says: ‘At the heart of this project are three broad conservation objectives. We want to maintain and present Osborne in a manner which befits its significance, and at the standard established by English Heritage’s Sustainable Conservation strategy.

‘We wish to make the history of the house, the estate and its residents more immediately explicable and relevant to visitors. And we intend to enhance the physical and sensory enjoyment of visitors as they enter the property, explore the house, look at the collection, and discover the landscape and gardens.’

Osborne House is a large mansion designed by Prince Albert as a summer house and rural retreat. Visitors can explore the rooms and gardens where the royal couple enjoyed their holidays and the house also features 20,000 items from the Royal Collection.

The latest project aims to enhance facilities at the attraction in response to increasing visitor numbers, and look at potential alterations to the estate’s Petty Officers Building. Existing education facilities will also potentially be relocated while the Beach Café will be reconfigured to reduce waiting times and improve customer experience.

The deadline for applications is midday, 7 February.

How to apply

View the contract notice for more information

Contact details

Amy Saunders
English Heritage Estates
Firefly Avenue

Tel: 01223 582795
Email: amy.saunders@english-heritage.org.uk 

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