Hugh Broughton Architects have won the competition for an exciting and ambitious £2.74m project to improve the services and facilities at Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery. This will form the second phase of the museum's re-development, following the renovation of the West Wing supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and completed in 2003.
The museum's collection of 600,000 artefacts and specimens are outstanding in their diversity and quality, forming one of the largest mixed collections in the south-east of England. The new development project has three key aims: the long-term preservation of the collections; greater public involvement in the museum and its collections; and increased use of the museum and its collections.
Hugh Broughton Architects was chosen from a shortlist of five which included Snell Associates, Atkins Ltd, Mackay & Partners and Featherstone Associates.
Chair of the judging panel, Malcolm Reading said "We all hugely enjoyed interviewing these teams of capable, enthusiastic designers and each brought a refreshingly different perspective to Maidstone Museum's challenging brief. In the end, the unanimous decision was the Broughton team because they demonstrated great clarity of thinking about the brief and empathy with the eclectic nature of the existing building and the collections. A very happy client and an excellent example of the value of the competition process."
Hugh Broughton said "We are thrilled to have won this exciting project. Maidstone Museum has an extraordinary collection of national importance. We are really looking forward to working with the council to increase public access to the collection and enhance the visitor experience at the museum through the careful integration of contemporary interventions into this historic setting."
The outcome regarding a HLF funding bid for the new development is expected in July 2007.