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BCLM: Forging Ahead – Visitor Welcome Architects announced

sketch of new visitor welcome building

04 July 2017

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Buckinghamshire-based Napier Clarke Architects to design our brand new Visitor Centre. 

/media/news/library/nc_logo-custom.jpgThe Visitor Centre is the central aspect of the new Visitor Welcome that we will create as part of our major development project BCLM: Forging Ahead. It allows us to turn our face to Castle Hill, creating a physical link between the Museum and the other attractions at Castle Hill (including Dudley Zoo, Castle and Canal Trust) and will become the welcome point for up to 5,000 visitors per day as visitor numbers grow to almost 500,000 per year upon completion of the project. It will also house an introductory exhibition and substantial food & drink and retail outlets, enabling the Museum’s current Rolfe Street entrance building to be repurposed as a dedicated Learning Centre. 

Napier Clarke Architects’ winning contemporary design proposal was chosen after a highly competitive European-wide tender process which saw 24 architectural practices enter the design competition. Napier Clarke Architects will be working alongside services engineer BWB Consulting, structural engineer Donald McIntyre Design, and landscape architect Red Kite Network to develop their design proposals with the Museum. 

Andrew Lovett, Chief Executive at BCLM said “The whole selection panel was very impressed with the highly experienced and enthusiastic team Napier Clarke Architects had brought together on their pitch; they really seemed to understand what we are trying to achieve. We hope a new contemporary Visitor Centre will provide a visually fascinating juxtaposition to the historic area of the Museum’s site and create an excellent welcoming experience for our visitors.” 

Napier Clarke Architects Directors, Steven Clarke and Amy Napier commented “We are delighted to have been appointed by Black Country Living Museum to design its ‘New Visitor Welcome’ facilities. It’s an important project for one of the UK’s most interesting museums, and very exciting for Napier Clarke to take forward our most significant cultural project to date.” 

Work now begins on refining and developing the initial design proposals for the new Visitor Centre and exploring opportunities for repurposing the Museum’s current entrance building as a dedicated Learning Centre. Once designs have been developed further they will be subject to a planning application, which it is hoped will be made in November 2017. 

To find out more about BCLM: Forging Ahead, including how you can get involved visit bclm.com/ForgingAhead

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