Design for Mary Rose Museum unveiled
Posted on: 19/08/2016

The centrepiece for Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, the Tudor warship Mary Rose, is back on display at the Mary Rose Museum after works have been completed by Architects Perkins + Will and WilkinsonEyre. The ship sank on the Solent in 1545 whilst leading an attack against a French invasion fleet. It was rediscovered in 1971 and the wreck was raised to the surface in 1982 along with over 19000 artefacts.

The wreck has undergone extensive conservation processes, including being coated in water-soluble wax as its advanced age and extended period (437 years) under the water has left it fragile. Previously the wreck could only be viewed through small panels in order to preserve it, however the purpose-built museum now has nine galleries, floor-to ceiling glazing and an open top balcony that offer panoramic views of the wreck.

The £32.4 million Mary Rose Museum was closed for 6 months whilst the conservation process was completed. Architects drew inspiration from the ship and her artefacts themselves and designed an environment intended to evoke the dark and claustrophobic nature of life on board the ship, as well as to showcase and protect the archaeological treasures.

Chris Brandon, Managing Principal of Perkins + Will said “This museum is unique – the only one in the world to take its inspiration from the archaeological finds of the Mary Rose and the ship herself. Our role was to create a showcase for The Mary Rose and her artefacts befitting their significance, so 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.”

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