Britten-Pears Archive

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Photography credit: © Hufton + Crow

Level of Award




Local Authority Area

Suffolk Coastal

Information about this scheme

This new sustainable archive building, houses the extensive collection of music manuscripts, letters, photographs and recordings of the composer Benjamin Britten and tenor Peter Pears. Originally assembled by Britten and Pears as a working library of their own collections, the building offers greater security, access and improved workspace for staff and visitors. A pioneering low-energy approach also provides optimum environmental conditions for preservation of the significant collection. The use of red brick complements the site of the Grade II listed former home of Britten, with a design that roots the building firmly in its context and is appropriate to the listed house and garden through the use of traditional materials and techniques. Creation of this new archive has liberated space within existing buildings on the Red House site, which has been used to develop exhibition and education facilities, along with the reinstatement of Britten’s composition studio and a new main reception area providing a welcoming space for members of the public. The local community and visitors from further afield now have access to new purpose-built facilities for the Britten-Pears Foundation’s learning and outreach activities, and a permanent exhibition exploring Britten’s life and music.



Stanton Williams


Stanton Williams


Britten-Pears Foundation

Interior Designer

Stanton Williams

Main Contractor

R G Carter Ltd


Britten-Pears Foundation

Project Manager

Davis Langdon LLP

Quantity Surveyor

Davis Langdon LLP

Services Engineer

Max Fordham

Structural Engineer

Barton Engineers

Landscape Architect

Ian Keen Ltd


PFB Construction Management Services Ltd

Primary Use Class

Class D1f - Public Library/Archive/Visitor Centre