Rick Mather Architects have been appointed by Ipswich Borough Council to develop the plans for Ipswich Museum as part of their ambitious campus masterplan. The development seeks to establish a centre of excellence with the extensive refurbishment of Ipswich Museum and Arts Hub.
Ipswich Borough Council
The Ipswich Museum is a Natural History Gallery and Arts Complex comprising the New Wolsey Studio Theatre, the High Street Exhibition Gallery, and Ipswich Art School Gallery. One of the earliest public museums in the country, it is known for its authentic and well preserved Natural History collection. In 1881 the collection relocated to the purpose built Victorian brick and terracotta Museum, which included separate wings for a Library and School of Art and Science.
A heritage lead regeneration project, it is being supported by the HLF and Arts Council England. Complimenting the restoration of the Grade II listed fabric and the re-interpretation of the collection, new build interventions will make the most of the existing courtyards and include additional circulation and orientation space found out of the residual spaces between the existing buildings.
Other project objectives include a new approach and arrival sequence strengthening the connections to the wider town centre. Internally, an integrated arts and visitor experience is encouraged through a central internal spine from which existing galleries and new flexible spaces complete the circuit. Through a heritage lead approach, combined with a cross programme of uses it has gererated a series of sensitive and responsive opportunities in and around existing building. Promoting a greater range of accessibility and inclusion benefits.
Project specifics include, a new glass entrance / pavilion, flexible and environmentally controlled basement galleries, a new three storey new build Gallery extension containing, education spaces, accessible storage / archive, terminating in a roof top terrace with views over the Town.
The project is currently in the early development stages, with refurbishments to the Museum anticipated to be complete by 2019.