Boathouse 6 is a scheduled ancient monument within the historic naval dockyard at Portsmouth. Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust has obtained a Millennium grant to convert it into an exhibition covering aspects of the Royal Navy of today.
The building, dating from 1846, has a cast-iron frame of revolutionary design, which incorporates long-span cast-iron beams with wrought-iron ties. The challenge has been to incorporate the requirements of the exhibition within the constraints of the existing building in a way that respects and complements its construction.
The building was severely damaged by enemy action during the Second World War, and this has provided an opportunity to incorporate a 275-seat auditorium as part of the exhibition's facilities. This is conceived like the hull of a ship and is set in dynamic juxtaposition to the cast-iron frame.