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Tate Harmer's 'big tent' wins scouting museum contest

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Tate Harmer has been chosen to design a museum and visitor centre at the Scout Association’s (TSA) headquarters at Gilwell Park in Chingford, east London

The practice saw off Scott Brownrigg, White Design and Glenn Howells Architects to won the contest at the ‘spiritual home of worldwide scouting’ with its concept for a colourful ‘big tent’.

This centrepiece structure has been conceived as a 15m-high timber clock and bell tower ‘festooned with scout neckerchiefs to symbolically represent the various troops on the site and all those across the world’.

The tent will be built from coated polyester panels, providing a canopy over the site’s central gathering space, Camp Square.

This building will ‘act as a beacon to guide visitors along a new heritage trail through the site’. It will also act as a stack-effect ventilation chimney for the heritage centre – a museum telling the story of the Scouting movement and its founder Robert Baden-Powell.

Besides the tower, most of the buildings will be single-storey, timber-clad structures made from prefabricated, cross-laminated timber ‘to minimise construction time on site [with] robust finishes in line with the scouting philosophy of self-reliance and sustainability.’

Tate Harmer lead architect Jerry Tate said: ‘The concept is to provide a space for celebration; a place that is rooted in scouting history, but also looks towards its future.

’The new Camp Square will be at the beating heart of Gilwell Park and the scouting movement, and will reflect the energy and diversity of scouting in the 21st century.’

It is hoped the new 1,600m² facility at the Scout Adventure Centre will complete bt the end of 2019 – 100 years from when the first scout leaders were trained at the park in Waltham Forest. 

The scheme is dependent on the Scout Association winning Heritage Lottery Funding for the project. 

WINNER: designs for the new scouting museum at Gilwell Park, Chingford by Tate Harmer

WINNER: designs for the new scouting museum at Gilwell Park, Chingford by Tate Harmer

WINNER: designs for the new scouting museum at Gilwell Park, Chingford by Tate Harmer

Project team

Project Architects - Tate Harmer
Structural & Civil Engineer - Atelier One
Services Consultant - Atelier Ten
Landscape Architect - Adams Habermehl
Quantity Surveyor - Robinson Low Francis
Project Manager - Robinson Low Francis
CDM Principal Designer - Robinson Low Francis

04 designs for the new scouting museum by tate harmer

04 designs for the new scouting museum by tate harmer

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