This project included both a major extension to the existing museum at Oaklands House, and the refurbishment and redisplay of much of the Victorian building. The modern extension almost doubles the floorspace of the Museum and includes a permanent display for large industrial exhibits; a temporary exhibition space, a new first floor gallery for the Essex Regiment, an Education Room, workshop and offices. The facilities included high levels of climate control and security to the exhibition galleries. A new main entrance, lift and two new staircases serve both the new and existing parts of the building.
The practice provided a single-appointment multidisciplinary team which worked closely with the curatorial staff throughout the development of the design. Our bold, modern design for the extension was enthusiastically supported by English Heritage. The design was based on sound environmental principles and featured high levels of insulation, a ground source heat pump with a display readout in the main foyer, and rainwater harvesting.