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Scott Brownrigg reveals design for Museum of Military Medicine in Cardiff

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AJ100 practice Scott Brownrigg has unveiled the first images of its proposed 4,000m² Museum of Military Medicine in Cardiff city centre

The scheme, which has already received a £2 million cash boost from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, will rehouse an existing museum collection first made public in the 1950s and currently on display at Keogh Barracks near Aldershot.

The Cor-ten steel-clad building will sit at the junction of Lloyd George Avenue and Hemingway Road and will overlook the Grade II*-listed former Bute Street Railway Station, which was used as a transit point for soldiers wounded in the First World War on their way to the military hospitals in South Wales and the West. The crumbling station, thought to have been designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1843), was recently named by The Victorian Society as one of the nation’s 10 most threatened buildings.

The new museum will showcase artefacts, uniforms and vehicles from the four corps of the Army Medical Services as well as becoming home to a huge library and archive recording the many stories of those who served and their achievements.

Subject to approval, Scott Brownrigg hopes work can start on site in early 2018.



Architect’s view

Given the types of artefacts on display, the design incorporates a variety of different spaces and visitor experiences. The incorporation of a connecting ramp is an integrally stunning yet functional design feature allowing the spaces to be connected through a prescribed, processional route. However, visitors will also have the option to bypass certain areas to focus on those exhibitions and artefacts of most interest to them. The ramp and incorporation of gallery balconies enables different perspectives on some of the larger exhibits (particularly for children), offering elevated views from different levels. An open and transparent atrium space faces out onto a new plaza and the historic railway station beyond.

The concept design reflects Cardiff Bay’s cultural and industrial heritage as a port and industrial area by using the concept of a ship or industrial container as the vessel to host the exhibits and artefacts.

The main body of the museum is conceived as a floating industrial form with the expressed north lights covered in Cor-ten steel cladding. The building is wrapped on two sides by the glazed atrium entrance and circulation spaces, enabling movement to be perceived by passers-by, creating activity and interest. In turn this is partially sheathed in a perforated copper veil, which provides solar shading. Both the Cor-ten and the copper make a further subtle reference in colour tone (in a contemporary and abstract way) to the Pier Head building as a beacon within the overall fabric of Cardiff Bay.

A café, reading room, research facilities and an auditorium will be open for community use. A bespoke room specific to the local community has also been included.

Concept sectional elevation01

Concept sectional elevation01

Project data

Location Junction of Lloyd George Avenue and Hemingway Road, Cardiff
Type of project Museum
Client The Museum of Military Medicine
Architect Scott Brownrigg
Landscape architect TBC
Planning consultant Asbri Planning
Structural engineer RVW
M&E consultant Hoare Lea
Quantity surveyor Gleeds
Lighting consultant TBC
Main contractor TBC
Funding Undisclosed. A £2 million contribution was confirmed the by the Chancellor in his 2016 autumn statement
Start on site date Q1 2018
Completion date Q1 2020
Contract duration 48 months
Gross internal floor area 4,000m²
Total cost Undisclosed


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