Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth

RIBA Regional Awards 2014: South

Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth · Credit: Hufton + Crow

Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth
Wilkinson Eyre for Mary Rose Trust
GIA 5,133m2

Protecting and preserving the historic artefact of the once-submerged Mary Rose, while allowing public access to it, makes this project hugely complex. It feels like a treasure box (from lighting to showcases) of precious gems, creating a stage for the experience. 

It is quite an achievement to ensure that from a single viewpoint both the Mary Rose and her recovered artefacts can be seen. With the main display at the end of the building, circulation spaces are free flowing to avoid congestion.   

While the exhibition takes centre stage, externally the distinctive maritime lines of the design work well in dockyard home, the simple clarity of the materials and lines offering an ideal backdrop to viewing the exuberance of the nearby HMS Victory.