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Keith Williams Architects Complete Chichester Museum - The Novium

Published: Thursday, June 07, 2012

RIAI Practice Keith Williams Architects have completed a new museum in the heart of historic Chichester, West Sussex. Williams was successful in the 2007 RIBA Competition to design the new museum, which is now known as The Novium. The main building was completed in autumn 2011, whilst the exhibition designed by Event Communications will be ready for the museum’s formal public opening, in July this year.

Chichester District Council’s ambition for the project centred on the replacement of its existing museum then located in a small 18th Century building, with a much larger building that would more effectively display the breadth of its collection, whilst providing full access to all. The site, a former car park, in Tower Street was chosen as archaeological remains of a series of Roman baths were discovered in the 1970s and it is in line sight of the City’s Cathedral. The baths, part of Roman Chichester (Noviomagnus Reginorum) date from the Flavian period (1st Century AD). The new museum spans the remains of the baths (the hypocaust) which have been incorporated in situ into the main entrance hall and gallery as a permanent exhibit and an intrinsic part of a museum.

The 1,100m2 building contains galleries over a further two floors, which have been designed to be flexible allowing a mix of permanent and temporary exhibition. The Museum also contains education spaces, restoration, research and staff areas. The building is clad in pale re-cast stone and is the first part of the Council’s phased plan for this part of the city, which includes a residential scheme also designed by Keith Williams to complete the urban block.

Categories: Architecture | Practice


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