"The new museum houses an internationally significant boat collection on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District National Park. It includes exhibition spaces for the display of steam launches, motorboats, yachts and other vessels telling the stories of their construction and use on the lake. Emphasis is placed on the visitor experience amongst buildings in a park landscape that creates a connection between people, boats and water, as well as providing a reinterpretation of the site’s picturesque and industrial heritage.
Rather than a singular huge building, a granular ensemble of smaller buildings that are square on plan creates a more fitting scale with its context. The wet dock forms the centre-piece of the museum and brings the lake into the heart of the experience to present the collection at water level. Other buildings making up the visitor route including: main entrance, conservation galleries, interpretation, education and cafe, 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.
The building forms are 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."
Credits: Jonathan Cook, Arup, Real Studios
Credits: - Jonathan Cook - Landscape Architect - Real Studios - Exhibition Design - Arup - Structural/Building Services Engineer