and Downland Museum’s gateway building, designed by ABIR Architects, enhances the
visitor experience. The site’s former structure, Sole Street, was relocated for
the project. ABIR Architects created a composite structure with bolted
stainless steel connections, housing a café, restaurant, shop, exhibition area,
and conference facilities. The frame includes local craftsman Ben Law’s 60,000
cleft chestnut shakes and finger-jointed chestnut cladding.
The building’s design contrasts modern materials like stainless steel and glass with the historic North Cray hall house in the background. The museum’s previous collaboration with The Green Oak Carpentry Company involved the Timber Gridshell building. The gateway complements the museum’s vernacular focus with its chosen palette of materials. The interior features chestnut cladding, and Solent Engineering contributed meticulous metalwork fabrication.
The structures create a visually appealing and well-designed visitor centre for the museum, poised to enhance visitor experiences in the years to come. Explore further at: www.wealddown.co.uk
Architect: ABIR Architects