Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Maidstone Museum East Wing by Kent, UK by Hugh Broughton Architects
May 24th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Hugh Broughton Architects
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery has re-opened following an extensive £3 million refurbishment and the addition of a new East Wing by Hugh Broughton Architects.
Clad with ‘gold’ shingles which hint at the museum’s collection of ‘treasures’ on display inside, the new wing provides the museum with a reinvigorated look making it the cultural focus for the town centre.
Housing a collection of over 600,000 artifacts and specimens that are outstanding in their diversity and quality, Maidstone Museum forms the largest mixed collection in Kent and one of the largest in the South-East of England.
The new wing marries contemporary creativity with sensitivity for the Grade II* listed building’s historic fabric. Key features include a new entrance, re-orientated to face the high street and elevations that combine frameless glazing with a diagrid of handcrafted copper alloy shingles, creating a contemporary counterpoise to the existing brick facades.
Hugh Broughton Architects’ 2006 RIBA competition-winning scheme transforms the museum’s display, storage and visitor facilities. It brings previously inaccessible spaces into use and allows more of the Museum’s historic buildings to be experienced. The East Wing provides new gallery spaces, which enable more of the collections to be seen.
A first floor public meeting room housed in a glazed box offers dramatic views and visually re-connects the museum with the gardens, fulfilling the ambitions of the Museum’s Victorian founders. A system of bespoke connectors between the glass and steel structure ensures a frameless flush glazed finish.
Storage spaces have been completely overhauled and modernised, increasing the capacity by 100% and improving security and accessibility. This process has allowed the museum’s staff to take stock and reorganize exhibits in storage, taking the opportunity to digitize and hone the full collection.
Hugh Broughton Architects
Hugh Broughton Architects was formed in 1996 and has developed a reputation for carefully crafted contemporary architecture, winning awards from the RIBA, Civic Trust and International Property Federation. The practice has designed projects for many high profile clients including The British Council, The National Galleries of Scotland, The Henry Moore Foundation and the TUC. In 2005, working with AECOM, Hugh Broughton Architects won the international competition to design Halley VI Antarctic Research Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf, an extraordinary project, which has led to numerous other international commissions in both polar regions, and will officially open in January 2013.
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