Expressions of Interest are sought from architect-led design teams with exceptional design skills for the redevelopment of the Windermere Steamboat Museum in the Lake District National Park.
The Windermere Steamboat Museum is home to a unique, nationally significant collection of steam launches, motor boats, yachts and other vessels which are associated with Lake Windermere and chart its development from 1780 onwards. The Museum, which is currently closed to the general public, is located close to Bowness and occupies a stunning site on the lake shore with magnificent views of the surrounding Lakeland peaks.
The Lakeland Arts Trust have recently been awarded initial support and associated development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Windermere Steamboat Museum was one of only five projects to secure a first-round pass for a major grant (£5m and over) in the May 2011 round of awards from the HLF. This enables the Trust to take the project forward with the aim of creating an exciting, active museum which uses the lake and the lakeside setting to display the boats so that visitors can see them in the environment that they were designed for. The Museum will describe the social history of the boats, their owners and uses as well as the technology and construction.
Following the pre-qualification phase, up to eight teams (which will also need to include the services of a structural engineer, M&E engineer and landscape designer) will be invited to proceed to the design stage of the competition. Design concepts will be sought for a new build and partial refurbishment of the Windermere Steamboat Museum with an anticipated total construction budget of £5.3 million (excluding all professional fees, VAT and client costs). The design project is complex and challenging, competitors will need to take into account the requirement of displaying the craft whilst being conserved, in dry display and in the wet dock, as well as designing an appropriate facility for the sensitive landscape setting and its stunning location to provide a world-class visitor experience. Each short-listed team will receive an honorarium payment of £2,500 (+VAT) and be invited to present their proposals to the Judging Panel at a final assessment to be held in Bowness.