Windermere Jetty Museum
National Panel Special Award
Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
The scheme comprises of a new museum to rehouse an internationally significant historic boat collection, main entrance, conservation galleries, an education space and cafe, which all cluster around the wet dock but are elevated on a podium away from the risk of floodwaters.
A conservation workshop is a standalone building placed closer to the water level on the working boatyard. Emphasis was placed on the visitor experience amongst buildings in a park landscape that creates a connection between people, boats and water. The wet dock forms the centrepiece of the museum and brings the lake into the heart of the experience to present the boat collection on water.
The architectural language of the museum is characterised by the vernacular typology of the roof, taking reference from archetypal agricultural and industrial buildings of the Lake District. The building forms are somehow familiar but made special by the overhanging canopies which extend the inside spaces of the building with all- weather shelter into the landscape. Internally, each individual building is organised with a large principal room centrally orientated to face the lakeshore, with ancillary spaces and the external canopy spaces balancing each side of the symmetrical sectional composition.
The museum is seen and approached from all sides, from land and water and from a number of points of elevation. Roofs and walls therefore assume equally important status in the formal composition. Oxidised copper is used as the determining material to give architectural consistency to these elements and to the museum buildings working together as a cohesive whole.
Copper is folded and pinned with a regular pattern of bronze fixings gives the elevations a unique texture, which is further reinforced by the patina gained by weathering over time. Very large windows and doors enable boats to be easily moved between outside and inside and allows the museum route between buildings to be clearly legible.
The landscape design embeds the buildings and working boatyard into a naturalised setting. Using local materials, such as slate waste and river bed aggregates set within a framework of soft landscaping including new trees, reeds and wild grasses and flowers.
Three new timber jetties project out into the lake and invite visitors to arrive by boat, or take heritage boat trips as part of the museum experience. Part of the brief for the new Museum was for the whole site to be as inclusive as possible for all potential visitors and staff, making it welcoming and accessible to everyone regardless of their abilities or age.
Lakeland Arts were committed to ensuring that the physical environment of the Museum would not create barriers to creativity, participation, learning and involvement. An accessibility champion was appointed from the outset of the design process to ensure that local access groups were actively consulted at an early stage to inform the emerging proposals. Community engagement was central to the selection of the design team, from the outset of the project. The project has enabled an estimated 94 direct and indirect jobs to either be created or safeguard, as well as offering apprenticeship and training opportunities, which have been particularly pivotal to the conservation programme for the boats.
Jonathan Cook Landscape Architecture
Primary Use Class
Class D1e - Museums