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National Railway Museum Launches Design Competition for New Central Hall

United Kingdom Architecture News - Sep 10, 2019 - 06:09   930 views

National Railway Museum Launches Design Competition for New Central Hall

The National Railway Museum and Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) has launched the National Railway Museum Central Hall Design Competition. The museum, part of the Science Museum Group, is poised to become the cultural anchor for York Central, one of the largest city centre brownfield regeneration projects in the UK and Europe. The first stage deadline is 14:00 BST Wednesday 16 October 2019.

York Central will re-route a major road that currently bisects the museum’s site, separating two of its main galleries, Great Hall and Station Hall. The new Central Hall, a circa 4,500 sqm building with a £16.5 million construction budget, will bridge the space between these two exhibition halls. The new addition is intended to create an appealing and compelling arrival experience and improve legibility and connectivity across the wider site.

This historic opportunity to integrate the estate — together with the wider regeneration, which is projected to give a £1bn+ boost to the local economy — will enable the museum to renew its physical presence and identity.

The new building will include reception spaces, as well as a spectacular 1,000 sqm gallery intended to showcase future acquisitions and innovative technology and introduce the museum’s world-class collection. Shortlisted teams will also be able to propose some enhancements to the adjoining museum buildings; this additional work (no more than £10m construction budget) being contingent on the post-competition concept design (RIBA Work Stage 2).

National Railway Museum Launches Design Competition for New Central Hall

Site Overview. Image © Ravage Productions / Malcolm Reading Consultants

The museum plans to relaunch in 2025, exactly 50 years after it first opened. The emblematic Central Hall, along with the museum’s other strategic Vision 2025 initiatives, will enable the museum to welcome an estimated 1.2 million visitors annually.

This two-stage competition is open to both national and international integrated design teams that include architects and structural, civil and services engineers (please note: exhibition design is not in scope). Competitors should demonstrate exceptional design talent and creative flair, along with sensitivity to the heritage context and expertise in sustainability.

"It’s hard to over-state the importance of the Central Hall to our future. It will bring unity to our site, connecting historic buildings, and providing a stunning new welcome to our museum for audiences from around the world," said Judith McNicol, Director of the National Railway Museum.

"But perhaps more important than the functional role it will play, the Central Hall will be at the heart of our mission to make a telling contribution to the contemporary rail renaissance. It will be a place where we can showcase the cutting-edge innovations of today alongside the engineering triumphs of the past. A place where we can inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, inventors and problem solvers."

National Railway Museum Launches Design Competition for New Central Hall

Museum. Image © Ravage Productions / Malcolm Reading Consultants

Competition details

The National Railway Museum Central Hall Design Competition is being run in accordance with EU procurement guidelines and the UK Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Details of the competition jury will be announced later in the process.

Stage one criteria include company information, details of the proposed team, and relevant experience.

At least five shortlisted teams will move on to stage two, where they will be asked to produce design concepts for the Central Hall.

They will also be able to propose enhancements to some of the fabric, infrastructure and organisation of the existing adjoining buildings. Depending on the post-competition concept design (RIBA Work Stage 2), a proportion of these works may be delivered by the appointed team for this project.

Internationally-based competitors may be required to propose a UK-based executive architect as part of their team at stage two. As part of a wide-ranging public engagement process, the National Railway Museum will hold an exhibition of the schemes submitted by finalist teams in York in February 2020.

An honorarium of £30,000 will be awarded to each shortlisted team that submits a compliant tender. A technical panel will review the entries and produce a report for the jury, who will conduct interviews and select a winner.

The winner is expected to be announced in March 2020. Please visit the competition's website to download all the materials and register to the competition before 14:00 BST Wednesday 16 October 2019.

Top image © Malcolm Reading Consultants

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