National Army Museum

  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Nick Caville
  • © Nick Caville
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Nick Caville
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery
  • © Paul Raftery

Special Award

Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design

Application Type

Universal Design

Level of Award

Award

Region

Greater London

Local Authority Area

Kensington & Chelsea

Information about this scheme

Providing a museum environment that would be safe, as well as physically, intellectually and emotionally accessible to the widest possible audience, was a fundamental driver for this project. From the outset, the design team included an access consultant to ensure that the principles of universal design were incorporated and that current standards would be met or exceeded. The creation of a new level entrance at the front of the building provides equality of access directly from the street and new forecourt - re-landscaped as an extended threshold, positively connecting the building with its context. The landscaping incorporates a number of free-form planters that reflect visitor movement patterns and incorporate a mix of seating, providing an opportunity for rest and reflection and encouraging the public to dwell. The new extension supports a generous entrance foyer of sufficient scale to accommodate large numbers of visitors and provide a welcoming first experience, with facilities immediately available to the visitor. The new circulation core and atrium with dramatically ascending stair and through-lifts is directly visible from this entrance foyer, and provides access for all to every level of the museum. Significant structural modifications were undertaken to enable this rationalisation of floor plates and create a more legible museum, where circulation becomes intuitive. By creating this interconnected and animated space, with long diagonal views up and down through the volume and depth of the Museum, the building is immediately understood, enabling ease of access and movement. Critically, acoustic design has enabled appropriate absorption to be discreetly incorporated to create a comfortable acoustic environment within this interconnected space. WC provision has increased, with accessible facilities at every level, baby changing facilities, a parent and child room and an adult ‘Changing Places’ facility.  A range of seating is available throughout, including foyer, café and galleries with induction loops provided in all public areas.

“The National Army Museum demonstrates what can be achieved when refurbishing an existing building.  Inclusive design was clearly at the forefront of the rationale to make the Museum a more welcoming, inviting and user friendly place.  The result is a public venue that offers an equally amazing museum experience for all visitors regardless of ability or age.”

Iain McKinnon

Director of Inclusive Design

Global Disability Innovation Hub

Credits

Architect

BDP

Structural Engineer

BDP

Services Engineer

BDP

Interior Designer

BDP

Landscape Architect

BDP

Project Manager

Focus

Quantity Surveyor

Focus

Universal Design Consultant

Access Design Consultants

Acoustic Consultant

BDP

Sustainability

BDP

Lighting Consultant

BDP

Exhibition Consultant

Event Communications

Approved Building Control Inspector

Butler & Young

Main Contractor

Gilbert Ash

Fire Engineering

Tenos

Planning Consultant

Turnberry

Primary Use Class

Class D1e - Museums