The Ragged School Museum Trust is looking for an architect for a £2.8 million overhaul of its Grade II-listed east London home
The winning architect-led design team will refurbish and extend the museum, which occupies the former premises of Dr Barnardo’s Copperfield Road Ragged School in Mile End.
The project will fully restore the waterfront complex and improve accessibility while also creating 618m² of public spaces including a café, restaurant, temporary exhibition space and events area.
According to the brief: ‘The project will secure and improve the fabric of the building, bringing over 618m² into public and productive use. It will enable the public in general to engage with the remarkable history of the Copperfield Road buildings and their role in the struggle for universal free education.
‘The authenticity of buildings will be retained with sensitive conservation. Public facilities will be greatly enhanced encouraging more repeat visits.’
The Copperfield Road Ragged School was founded in 1877 to provide free education to poor children unable to attend Sunday schools, and was supported by the philanthropist Thomas John Barnardo. It operated until 1908 when state education took over in the area.
The complex occupies three Victorian warehouses on Regent’s Canal in Tower Hamlets at 46, 48 and 50 Copperfield Road. It was saved from demolition in the 1980s and transformed into a museum in 1990.
The latest project will fully restore the largest of these buildings, 46 Copperfield Road, which was never fully renovated, and also improve the other two structures.
The upgraded museum will feature a wheelchair-accessible Victorian-style classroom, toilets for school groups and a waterside café and restaurant. A temporary exhibition space; an area for seminars, conferences and corporate events; and a leasable first floor will also be delivered. The project is set to complete in 2020.
The winning team – featuring an architect and lead designer, structural engineer, MEP services engineer, acoustics consultant and principal designer – will develop the scheme from RIBA Stage 2 onwards and will completed a planning and listed building consent application later this summer.
Richard Griffiths Architects completed a strategic development plan four years ago for the project, which has also secured a Heritage Lottery Fund first-round pass.
The deadline for applications is noon, 1 June.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Ragged School Museum Trust
46/50 Copperfield Road
Tel: +44 2038469230