The National Archives is recruiting an architect for an £8.5 million overhaul of its public spaces within its landmark complex in Kew, south-west London
The contract is for the final phase of a regeneration masterplan drawn up by AOC, and is expected to cover reading rooms and other public areas within the 1976 Brutalist complex overlooking the River Thames.
Last year AOC completed the first phase, a new ground-floor restaurant, and is currently on site delivering the second phase, an events space.
According to the latest contract notice: ‘The National Archives has a strategic commitment to providing a vibrant, welcoming, learning environment that attracts a wider and more diverse audience. We seek to do this by developing our onsite and online service delivery, and through the delivery of new services, particularly in the form of events and planned programmes of activity, for both academic and casual users.
‘We are seeking to make The National Archives a destination in its own right, and to make the environment more distinctive and identifiable, and in so doing, widen awareness and appreciation of The National Archives and the value of archives to individuals as well as society as a whole.’
The 1976 building was designed by the UK government’s Property Services Agency, and echoed the style of Denys Lasdun’s National Theatre further along the Thames. It received a 13,500m² extension in the 1990s.
The complex houses the official archive of the UK government and for England and Wales dating back more than 1,000 years. Items held include original copies of the Domesday Book and Magna Carta, and William Gladstone’s 19th-century despatch box.
Following prequalification questionnaires, up to five teams will be shortlisted for the latest contract which is expected to be awarded in May. The start date and time frame remain subject to funding.
The deadline for applications is 5pm, 14 March.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
The National Archives