The Royal Air Force has brought in Manchester-based Buttress Architects to develop a masterplan for its museum site at Cosford in Shropshire
The practice has been asked to draw up a new vision for the tourist attraction north-west of Birmingham, which saw its last major redevelopment nine years ago with the opening of Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio’s £9 million National Cold War Exhibition (see AJ 01.02.07).
The project includes redesigning the site ‘to retell the story of the RAF’s history’ and will include new exhibition spaces to showcase artefacts restored by Cosford’s Michael Beetham Conservation Centre.
In addition, Buttress will look at how to move the museum’s reserve collection from Stafford to Cosford and increase the facilities for ‘learning programmes with a focus on science, technology, engineering and maths’.
The plans are being drawn up as part of the RAF’s centenary legacy programme – which also includes the transformation of its other main museum site at Hendon in north London – in celebration of its centenary in 2018.
The Hendon facility is currently undergoing a £23 million overhaul masterplanned by NEX and landscaped by Agence Ter, winner of a Malcolm Reading Consultants-organised competition earlier this year.
Speaking about the Cosford project, Stephen Anderson, associate director at Buttress, said: ‘The RAF has not only shaped British history but it has also played a central role in the development of engineering and aviation technology.
‘We’re working closely with the museum as the air force nears this important milestone to create a museum space that will celebrate the impact the RAF has had on society.’
Work at Cosford is not expected to start until the completion of the revamp at Hendon in 2018.
Cosford site plan