The Novium Chichester, Museum Building Sussex, Design
The Novium, Sussex, UK : Chichester Museum Building
Building in Sussex, southeast England – design by Keith Williams Architects
9 Aug 2012
The Novium Chichester
Chichester District Museum
The Novium Chichester’s New Museum
Design: Keith Williams Architects
The Novium, Chichester’s new museum which opened to the public 8 July 2012, is the culmination of a 10 year endeavour by the Council, to replace the city’s former museum, with a new building that would more effectively display the breadth of its collection. Designed by Keith Williams Architects after winning the 2007 RIBA design competition, the Novium, located in Tower Street in line sight of the city’s cathedral. At 1,100 m2 is 21/2 times larger than its predecessor, a small cellular 18th Century building elsewhere in the city.
The Novium occurs at precisely the point that historic buildings stop and the grain of the city changes fundamentally. The architectural expression of the museum responds to that contextual shift in both its materiality of pale cast stone surfaces which echo the colour hues of the city’s primary buildings the cathedral, market cross and cathedral tower, and the formal composition which establishes a clearly contemporary architectural outcome.
The unique aspect of the plot a former car park, on which the Museum is sited, centres on substantial archaeological remains of a series of Roman baths, which were discovered in the 1970s beneath the ground surfaces. The baths, part of Roman Chichester (Noviomagnus Reginorum) date from the Flavian period (1st Century AD) and the fragments of the hypocaust are the most substantial Roman extant remains within the city walls. The new museum spans the hypocaust, which have been incorporated in situ into the main entrance gallery as a permanent exhibit and an intrinsic part of a museum.
The Museum contains galleries over a further two floors, which have been designed to be flexible allowing both permanent and temporary exhibition, and education spaces, restoration, research and staff areas.
The Museum has over 1,000 geological specimens (primarily fossils), 8,500 social history artefacts and items of ephemera, 3,600+ photographs and in excess of 300,000 archaeological finds, describing the story of Chichester District from geological times onwards. Elements of these are displayed in the galleries a changing museological programme.
The building is the first part of a phased plan for this part of the city, which includes a residential scheme also designed by Keith Williams to complete the urban block.
Chichester District Council’s ambition for the project centred on the replacement of its existing museum then located in a small 18th Century building, with a much larger building that would more effectively display the breadth of its collection, whilst providing full access to all. The site, a former car park, in Tower Street was chosen as archaeological remains of a series of Roman baths were discovered in the 1970s and it is in line sight of the City’s Cathedral. The baths, part of Roman Chichester (Noviomagnus Reginorum) date from the Flavian period (1st Century AD). The new museum spans the remains of the baths (the hypocaust) which have been incorporated in situ into the main entrance hall and gallery as a permanent exhibit and an intrinsic part of a museum.
The 1,100 sqm building contains galleries over a further two floors, which have been designed to be flexible allowing a mix of permanent and temporary exhibition. The Museum also contains education spaces, restoration, research and staff areas.
The building is clad in pale re-cast stone and is the first part of the Council’s phased plan for this part of the city, which includes a residential scheme also designed by Keith Williams to complete the urban block.
The Novium, Chichester District Museum – Building Information
Title: The Novium : Chichester District Museum, Sussex
Design phases : Mar 2007 – Apr 2010
Main construction start : Apr 2010
Main construction completion : Sep 2011
Exhibition Fit out completion : Jul 2012
Internal floor area : 1.100 m2 GIFA
Form of procurement : Traditional Contract
Construction cost : £4.035m
Cost per m2 : £3.668 /m2
Project cost : £6.9m
Annual CO2 emissions : 24.9 KgCO2 /m2 annum (England and Wales BR Part L)
BREEAM rating : Very Good
Client: Chichester District Council
Architect: Keith Williams Architects
Keith Williams (Director in Charge)
Ilex Beinemeier, Sasha Bischoff, James Davies, Licia deAngelis, Justin Holland (senior architect), Britta Neffgen, Michael Nettleship, Mark Taylor
Project Manager: Robinson Low Francis
Structural Engineer: Techniker
M&E Engineer: Gifford
Lighting Consultant: Sutton Vane Associates
Quantity Surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall
CDM Coordinator: Rider Levett Bucknall
Archaeology Consultant: Development Archaeology services Ltd
Disability Access Consultant: Martin Affleck
BREEAM consultant: Northcroft
Digital Imaging: Keith Williams Architects
Models: Hidden Modelshop
Photographer: David Grandorge
Main Contractor: Vinci Construction
Exhibition Project Team:
Exhibition Design: Event Communications
Exhibition Construction Manager: Appleyards
Exhibition Main Contractor: The Hub
The Novium Chichester District Museum images / information from Keith Williams Architects
Background information on The Novium:
The Novium – Chichester District Museum, Sussex, England
image from architect
Chichester District Museum