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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Planning granted for Wilkinson Eyre's Mary Rose Museum design

The £35 million project to build a new museum for the Tudor warship Mary Rose in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard took significant steps forward this week with the news that the planning application has been approved by Portsmouth City Council.

The museum, designed by a team comprising Wilkinson Eyre Architects (architect), Pringle Brandon (interior architect) and Land Design Studio (exhibition design and interpretation), in collaboration with Gifford (structural and M&E engineer), will reunite the ship’s preserved hull with many thousands of unseen artefacts for the first time in 500 years.

The museum building is conceived as a finely crafted wooden jewellery box discreetly enclosing the Mary Rose as its treasure. The curvilinear shape, which is derived from the historic dry dock below, responds to its unique context alongside HMS Victory and its dark stained timber cladding picks up on the ‘carvel’ construction of the Mary Rose hull as well as traditional boat shed architecture.

The Mary Rose Trust’s Chief Executive John Lippiett welcomed the good news: “We have reached a real milestone in the project and taken another step in the fascinating journey of the Mary Rose.

“We can now submit our stage 2 application with real confidence. We have the planning approval; we have demonstrated considerable success in raising half the money required and are buoyant that we can raise the remainder.”

The announcement coincides with confirmation from the Mary Rose Trust that they have raised over half of the £14million required to match the £21 million earmarked for the project by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in January 2008. The Mary Rose Trust can now progress to stage two and submit a further, fully developed application to the HLF to secure the full grant. The hull of the Mary Rose will be withdrawn from public view later this year as the new museum is built around her. It will continue to be interpreted in imaginative ways in the existing museum, which will remain open throughout.

She will continue to be sprayed with polyethylene glycol, a water-based wax solution, until 2011. The hull will be carefully dried within the new museum until she can be displayed fully in 2016.
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