Watford Museum

Watford Museum

Watford Museum

Hertforshire, UK

2017 – 2018

Watford Museum houses a collection that includes approximately 30,000 items encompassing local history, archaeology, art, and costume, together with paintings by J M W Turner – but its role in the local area goes well beyond this. It also provides a vital focus for the local community, with a dynamic programme of activities and events. Its home is a Grade-II Listed manor house dating from 1775.

To create an expression of the renewal of the museum and provide a fully accessible entrance, we designed a pavilion-like addition. Accommodating reception, café and temporary exhibitions, this light-filled space begins the visitor’s journey through the collection. Within the original building visitor flow and vertical circulation are improved, increasing accessibility, and the historic spaces are renovated to celebrate their proportions and period details. Lighting and environmental performance are also improved.

In addition to the gallery spaces, new facilities include an education suite, a volunteer’s room, admin areas and improved storage. The project is a demonstration of how local museums can build on the heritage of a particular place and are expressions of identity and civic pride.

To create an expression of the renewal of the museum we designed a pavilion-like grey-brick addition.

Initial analysis sketches

Model photography by Tian Khee Siong