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Alison Brooks lands York Castle Museum redevelopment job

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A design team led by Alison Brooks Architects has landed a multi-million-pound job to masterplan the redevelopment of York Castle Museum

York Museum Trust has appointed the London-based practice, working with Richard Griffiths, Purcell and Todd Longstaff-Gowan Landscape Design to draw up concept work and a masterplan for the ‘reimagined museum’.

The practice was chosen from a shortlist which included Stanton Williams; Purcell Architecture; Simpson and Brown; and Wilkinson Eyre.

The project, part of the City of York Council’s plans for the regeneration of the Castle Gateway area, will include a new building at the north end of the female prison part of the castle.

Reyahn King, chief executive of York Museums Trust said: ’For us, Alison Brooks Architects were the ideal choice despite never working on a museum project before. We felt that they had brought together a great team and, more than anyone else, they understood the site and our approach to the project.

‘Central to this is our shared vision for opening up the area for the benefit of the whole city. It is a very exciting proposition and Alison Brooks will help us build on our initial ideas generated by public consultation to ensure we create a fantastic design that sympathetically enhances the area and helps us understand the fantastic history of this site.’

According to the trust, the new building will enable the history of the site to be told in depth for the first time through immersive experiences and displays as well as providing new temporary exhibition space. 

The project will investigate the possibility of creating a riverside walkway, connecting Tower Street with new public realm in the castle car park area.

Last summer, Hugh Broughton’s proposals to build a visitor centre at the foot of Clifford Tower, the castle’s Grade I-listed 13th-century keep, were scrapped following public opposition.

At the time, backer English Heritage cited the ‘momentum’ behind the council-led Castle Gateway regeneration as one of the reasons for abandoning the scheme.

Paul Lambert, from the York Museums Trust, said the number of applicants competing for the project had been ‘phenomenal’.

He added: ‘We are thrilled that we now have our RIBA stage one design team in place and we look forward to working with them on the next steps in realising our ambitious plans for the museum.

‘We are continuing to work closely with City of York Council and English Heritage so that our plans enhance and complement the wider vision for the Castle Gateway area.’

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