Avery Associates with Brennan and Whalley has won a competitive interview to design a visitor centre for HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool.
The practice will hone one of three options into a scheme up to stage C/D. The ship itself has already won heritage lottery cash; now the project backers hope for more to part-fund the £3 million centre.
The three approaches were: 'compass rose' featuring a semi-circular plan to create a sheltered open space next to the ship; 'hull form', a curved roof reminiscent of traditional boat-building technology; and the 'protected boatyard', a group of modular buildings around a protected courtyard.
'Compass rose' evolved from a reference to navigation by sextant through to references to a dry-dock setting and an amphitheatre. Visitors walk down the steps of the theatre to the water over timber walkways.
The timber 'hull' form refers to Hartlepool's shipbuilding tradition and the ocean's swell. Naturally ventilated, it features access by pontoon deck, while an alternative to the solid back incorporates an open see-through base.
Lastly, the 'protected courtyard' refers to the tough grey stone structures of the quayside as a dockyard wall, behind which are the interpretation centre, cafe, a workshop and a courtyard. A tower gives scale to the square and enables visitors to go high up in the rigging.