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AJ Architecture Awards 2019 winner: Cultural

Windermere Jetty Museum by Carmody Groarke has scooped the Cultural Project prize at the 2019 AJ Architecture Awards

The judges felt this project was ‘remarkable’, and ‘exceptionally impressive’, particularly given it was the practice’s first significant museum project. The Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories contains a collection of about 40 boats and sits directly on the shore of Lake Windermere. Its form, composed of six oxidised copper-clad ‘sheds’, draws on the local boat-shed vernacular, and was praised for how it ‘breaks-down the volumes to sit sensitively in the landscape’ while ‘echoing the horizon line’ in the horizontal planes of its prominent overhanging roofs. 

Each shed focuses on different functions – such as entrance lobby, galleries, education, administration, café, workshop and conservation – all clustered around the largest one, which contains a wet dock, allowing working craft to sail inside. 

‘It just seems to function really, really well,’ said one judge, while another noted the ‘simple but very thoughtful and pragmatic’ detailing from built-in seats in lobby areas to services raised at high level to future-proof against flooding. Its environmental strategy, including a zero-foul water waste strategy, was praised as ‘ticking all the sustainability boxes’. 

In summing up, one judge described the finished building as ‘just an outstanding result’. 


  • The Hill House Box by Carmody Groarke
  • V&A Photography Centre by David Kohn Architects
  • Process Gallery by Guy Hollaway Architects
  • Edinburgh Printmakers by Page\Park Architects
  • Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’ by Stanton Williams


  • Ricardo Baptista, design director, AKT II
  • Chris Boyce, director and founder, Assorted Skills + Talents*
  • Andrea Carvajal, associate sustainability consultant, WSP
  • Laura Mark, keeper, Walmer Yard