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Carmody Groarke to revamp historic Carlisle attraction

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Carmody Groarke is to draw up a masterplan for a major revamp of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle

The practice will restore a wide-ranging collection of buildings dating from the 17th to the 21st century on the estate of the visitor attraction.

It said the refurbished spaces would provide a platform for community and cultural activities in the Cumbrian town.

The museum, which houses collections of fine and decorative art, human history and natural sciences as well as staging exhibitions and events, is celebrating 125 years of operation.

Practice director Kevin Carmody said: ‘We are delighted to have been selected to work with Tullie House to refurbish and extend its buildings in the centre of historic Carlisle. The project will vastly improve Tullie House’s buildings and boost the awareness and enjoyment of arts and culture in the region.’

Old Tullie House was built in the 16th century and modernised by the dean of Carlisle, Thomas Tullie in 1689. It still has a Jacobean façade and is Grade I listed. In the 19th century, local sandstone extensions were designed by CJ Ferguson, adding a range of buildings on the north side of the estate.

A major redevelopment took place in 1990, involving expansion within existing buildings and the construction of a new wing, housing art galleries, a lecture theatre, a shop and a restaurant. In 2001 the Carlisle Millennium Gallery was added, which extends below the A595. 

Carmody Groarke said: ‘We plan on celebrating the building’s architectural history and showing visitors the many layers of expansion that have taken place over the years, creating a reimagined space appropriate for displaying the organisation’s magnificent collection.’

The London practice, founded in 2006, added that it wanted to retain, refurbish and reinvent the estate to help buildings reach their highest potential and help Tullie House operate for another 75 years.

It said a planning application was, however, some years off.

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