Model showing the approved renovation and addition. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

Model showing the approved renovation and addition. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

The Dorset County Museum in Dorchester, England has received full planning approval for a 2,500-square-meter renovation and expansion project led by London-based architects Carmody Groarke. The project will consist of a sensitive refurbishing of the historic museum as well as contemporary architectural interventions that will create four new stories of naturally-lit galleries and an improved circulation flow throughout the building.


A central staircase will provide access to the galleries and archive. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

A central staircase will provide access to the galleries and archive. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

Founded in 1846, the museum is well regarded for its large collection of historic objects concerning archaeology, geology, literature and fine art. The expansion will allow curators to display an increased number of these artifacts in new thematically-designated exhibition and conservation galleries. Below ground, a purpose-built archive will offer a range of climate-controlled storage, research, curatorial and conservation workspaces, giving the public access to the entire collection for the first time.


Renderings from an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

Renderings from an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

Renderings from an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

Renderings from an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

The new buildings will stand out architecturally through its dense roofscape, which interprets the surrounding urban context to create what the architect’s explain as a “coherence of a large-scale public building.” A new model and visualization released with the news of the approval show a slightly pared-down version of the original scheme (the last 3 images shown here). 


A model representing an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

A model representing an earlier iteration of the design. Image Courtesy of Carmody Groarke

“Achieving Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent will enable a wonderful opportunity for Dorset County Museum to realise a much more coherent and comprehensive visitor experience,” said Kevin Carmody, Director of Carmody Groarke.

“Careful restoration of existing buildings will be given new context and meaning by the addition of contemporary architectural interventions. Not only will this be a locally and regionally important civic building, it will allow an international quality collection to be cared for and exhibited in one place for the first time and to be enjoyed for generations to come.” 

News via Carmody Groarke.

Carmody Groarke’s Cliff-Top Seaside Hotel Secures Planning Approval

Carmody Groarke’s competition winning design for a new hotel retreat on Burgh Island off the coast of Devon, UK, has received planning approval, clearing the way for the dramatic structure to begin construction.