The Grade I listed Harris Museum in Preston is one of the city’s most treasured public buildings; a centre for cultural and civic life for over 125 years.
After developing a Conservation Management Plan for the building in 2010, we were engaged to carry out the redevelopment of the museum’s history galleries.
The history gallery redevelopment sees the architecture of the gallery spaces revealed and restored and a new permanent exhibition created.
A mezzanine floor was removed to reveal the full spatial quality of the gallery and features, such as the exquisitely detailed radiators that have been conserved.
The new exhibition re-displays key artefacts from the museum and, with the architecture of the gallery, creates a coherent and attractive space.
The history galleries connect the visitor to the collections, building and city in a fully accessible new gallery in the heart of the museum.
Re-imagining the Harris
Most recently, we have been appointed by Preston City Council to deliver a £10.7 million National Lottery Heritage Fund project at the museum.
The aim of the ‘Re-imagining the Harris’ project is to provide an innovative environment in which museum, library and art gallery collections and services are fused to provide one flexible community-led hub, allowing the building and its collections to be presented more effectively.
The project will involve exploring the opening up of existing but currently disused entrances and the reconfiguration of the interior to encourage both day and evening footfall. A new staircase and lift will also be created along with the delivery of a marker space for use by local people.
The practice’s Heritage Consultancy team will also produce a Conservation Plan for the project which will provide historical context and help inform the proposals.
Manchester Society of Architects Awards 2012: Commendation for History Galleries Redevelopment