Wilkinson Eyre chosen for Southampton 'Sea City'
Southampton City Council has appointed Wilkinson Eyre to begin designing the city’s newest heritage attraction, the Sea City Museum. Architects Wilkinson Eyre have been appointed by Southampton City Council to design the ambitious plans, that would include turning the old magistrates courts and police head quarters, at Southampton’s City Councils’ Civic Centre, into a £15 million ‘Sea City’ Museum.
The ‘Sea City’ Museum will provide access to and interpretation of Southampton City Councils internationally important maritime heritage collections and will also restore a Grade II listed building. The project will include an exhibition which will help tell the story of the crew members of the Titanic, a story that has largely gone untold outside of Southampton, and around 4,000 items related to and recovered from the Titanic ship will be displayed there. The council expects that this phase of the project will be completed by 2012.
Wilkinson Eyre will lead the design team for the project, which includes locally based consulting engineer Gifford, Davis Langdon, who will act as quantity surveyors and architectural and design company, Urban Salon who will develop educational, original and fun ways to communicate the historical stories within the museum. Focus Consultants have been appointed as project managers.
Councillor John Hannides, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Heritage said: “We are very pleased to have such a good quality project team working with us on this landmark project, this is one of the most significant civic projects for 50 years and we are confident that they will develop a fantastic attraction for the city that will help to tell the story of Southampton’s maritime history, in an educational, exciting and innovative manner.”
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a first round pass and there is a potential to secure a further £4.5 million for the first phase of the work, which the council can apply for once it has completed detailed plans. However, even if successful, the council will still need to find a further £10 million to fund the first phase of the project. Southampton City Council is currently exploring all possible opportunities for raising the money.