St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff

Empowers the original building to exceed its original ambitions

St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff.
St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff. Credit: Phil Boorman

Wales Regional Award 2019

Purcell for Museum Wales
Contract value: £15.52m
GIA: 8,100m²
Cost per m2: £1,916

The RSAW Building of the Year comprises a restoration and extension to the original signature light grey brick Main Building at St Fagan’s by modernist architect Percy Thomas in 1976. The restoration includes a series of new spaces and extensions, including large generous galleries, learning studios and areas for hospitality and retail. The site is the largest education complex in Wales outside of school governance and works hard to deliver the standards expected of the country’s largest Heritage Lottery Fund grant ever awarded. The architect worked with the existing features and forms of the main building, and in compiling its restoration and extension has decluttered its original forms – reintroducing strong horizontal silhouettes, balancing compositions of solid and void, and exploiting the repetitive vertical articulation of structure and fenestration inside and out. The architect has empowered the original building to be greater still than its original ambitions. It provides a busy event space to introduce the visitor to the outdoor museum that lies ahead.

RSAW Building of the Year
RSAW Conservation Award

  • St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff.
    St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff. Credit: Phil Boorman
  • St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff.
    St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff. Credit: Phil Boorman
  • St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff.
    St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff. Credit: Purcell Purcell
  • St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff.
    St Fagans Museum Main Building, Cardiff. Credit: Phil Boorman
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