A project to bring into use a derelict workshop as a brand new learning and exhibition space at Crich Tramway Village, Derbyshire has been recognised in the 2012 LABC National Building Excellence Awards. The project successfully converted an old stone workshop into an learning centre, reshaping the museum’s exhibition provision and forming an exciting new experience for future visitors.
The 170 year old stone workshop required numerous adjustments and alterations to bring it up to modern standards and provide access for all – including wheelchair users. Access to the existing museum has been provided via an impressive glass walkway.
Built in 1841, the two-storey building stands in the heart of the Tramway Museum site. It was originally used as a smithy and wagon works for Stephenson’s one-metre gauge mineral railway to transport limestone from what was then Crich Cliff Quarry to kilns at Ambergate.
The newly restored building links to the existing Workshop Viewing Gallery via an impressive glass walkway to provide a much needed visitor ‘welcome’ and exhibition space at the heart of Crich Tramway Village which tells the story of the earliest tramways and links the museum to George Stephenson and his mineral railway. The ground floor brings learning right into the centre of the Village and provides a much improved and larger facility for the delivery of a wide range of learning activities to schools, families and community groups.
Paul Everall, LABC Chief Executive, said:
“Despite these tough times there are many exciting and high quality construction projects being undertaken right now. Our national excellence awards reflect the ability of the industry’s talent to deliver high quality designs, high standards of safe and sustainable builds – with effective and targeted regulation by Local Authority Building Control.”
“The standard of this year’s finalists – all of whom have already won one of our regional awards – was higher than ever. The success of the tramway museum project has helped to ensure the future sustainability of the museum, increasing visitor numbers and benefitting the surrounding Derbyshire area.”
Glynn Wilton, Head of Exhibitions at the museum said: “We are very pleased that the project has been so successful, it has brought the building back to life. The architect and builders have done a great job. Visitors really enjoy the new exhibition and schools love the Learning Centre. It is a great success.”
The 2012 LABC National Building Excellence Awards took place on Tuesday 13 November at The Brewery in the City of London – hosted by former BBC political correspondent John Sergeant.
The LABC Building Excellence Awards showcased how, even in difficult economic times for the construction industry, a close working relationship between Building Control, architects and building contractors leads to good quality sustainable building projects with high standards of design and construction.
Over 500 guests, including contractors, engineers and architects attended the awards which also raised money for LABC’s 2012 charity – the Stroke Association. The event was sponsored by LABC Acoustics, LABC Warranty, Travis Perkins Sustainable Building Solutions, Polypipe Terrain and Roger Bullivant.