Mary Rose Museum by Wilkinson EyreArchitects

A museum housing sixteenth century Tudor warship the Mary Rose opens today in an elliptical timber-clad building designed by London office Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Located in the historic dockyard of Portsmouth, England, the Mary Rose Museum displays part of the ship that served the navy of King Henry VIII for 33 years before spending 437 years undiscovered at the bottom of the sea.
Wilkinson Eyre Architects designed the museum with a stained black exterior, intended to reference traditional English boat sheds, and a disc-shaped metal roof that curves up over its elliptical body.
The starboard section of the ship’s hull is housed in a temperature-controlled chamber at the heart of the building and can be viewed through internal windows on three different storeys.
The interiors, by London firm Pringle Brandon Perkins+Will, were designed to recreate the dark and claustrophobic atmosphere found below a ship’s deck.
“We designed a museum that would recreate the experience of being on board the ship hundreds of years ago and created a context gallery to highlight its precious contents,” said studio principal Chris Brandon.
Spaces feature low ceilings and are kept deliberately dark, with lighting directed only onto exhibits and handrails so that visitors can find their way through the galleries.
Two smaller extensions branch out from the sides of the museum. The first accommodates a reception, cafe and shop, while the second contains an education centre.
Wilkinson Eyre Architects was the recipient of last year’s World Building of the Year prize for its role in the Gardens by the Bay tropical garden in Singapore. The firm also recently won a competition to design a skyscraper on Sydney’s harbourfront.

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