The Maidstone Museum in England houses an extensive and brilliantly diverse collection, ranging from a Solomon Islands war canoe to numerous local historical artefacts. Finding itself short of space at the turn of the 21st century, it embarked on an extensive renovation and extension project. Now the museum's square footage hasbeen extended further still by a shiny new addition, designed by London-based Hugh Broughton Architects.
Holding the largest mixed collection in Kent and one of the biggest in South East England, the museum is home to over 600,000 artefacts in a core Grade II listed building, a Tudor Manor house dating back to1561. Following a west wing renovation which was completed in 2003, the 'East Wing' addition project was awarded to Hugh Broughton and his team in 2006 through a RIBA completion. The team is best known for its ongoing extraordinary Halley VI Antarctic Research Station project on the Brunt Ice Shelf.
The Maidstone Museum extension not only secures extra storage allowance, bringing previously unused spaces into use, but also provides new galleries and all the mod con facilities needed to ensure a fully contemporary museum experience for visitors.
Clad in eye-catching, gold-hued copper shingles, the structure has a suitably subtle interior (check back for more pictures soon), which works with the existing material palette, such as timber floors and neutral colours.
Taking the historical building into the 21st century, the extension is also environmentally controlled, with heating and cooling via ground-sourced heat pumps running from 100-m-deep vertical boreholes in the adjacent gardens, while photovoltaic panels sit on the roof.