Chichester District Museum
Chichester, West Sussex
In 2006 we were shortlisted for the competition to design the new Chichester District Museum. We set out to create an new building that was sensitive to the historic context and character of Chichester and West Sussex in it's scale texture and materiality. The quarter of the city where the site was located had lost some of its historic texture. We looked carefully at the medieval city pattern in order to generate a building idea of appropriate scale, with strong resonance within the city. We also considered it important to remember that the museum was not just for the city but for the district. The new building should therefore be seen and understood as representing both Chichester and West Sussex - as represented by the museum's collection.
Crucial to the establishment of the new museum was its incorporation of the remains of the city's Roman Baths. We aimed to find a solution that would both bring the Roman archaeology into the consciousness of the city. The remains of the Baths are a tremendous civic asset and we saw that the new building must use the full potential of them to engage the museum visitor and to become a city landmark. We set out to create a new museum which would be inviting, flexible and have a strong internal presence.
Our proposed design and the original site
The view from Tower Street
Proposed view showing the incorporation of the Roman baths