Construction starts on new Chichester museum by Keith Williams
Construction work has started on the new 1,300 sq m district museum in Chichester's historic core. The project designed by Keith Williams Architects, will contain three distinct galleries as well as research, learning and collections storage. It is being built on a site close to the City's Cathedral, beneath which are the remains of Chichester's Roman baths. The baths, discovered in the 1970s, are set to be a permanent and intrinsic element within the museum. They will accompany a number of displays describing the history and heritage of Chichester and its District. The new centre is approximately 2.4 times the size of the current District Museum in Little London, Chichester, which it will replace.
John Kingdon, Director of Health and Community Wellbeing at Chichester District Council, said: "The turf cutting marked the start of the construction of an exciting project. The new museum and heritage centre will give residents the opportunity to view our diverse collections from the district, covering the past half a million years."
Keith Williams said "We have been working closely with Chichester District Council since winning the RIBA competition in early 2007, so naturally I am delighted that construction has now begun." In the original RIBA run competition, Williams was selected ahead of an impressive shortlist which included Panter Hudspith, Tony Fretton Architects, Caruso St John, van Heyningen Haward, and Jamie Foubert.
The Museum will be clad in reconstructed pale stone, with zinc strip roofing. The building is set to open in autumn 2011. Chichester District Council has provided the £6.9 million funding for the project.