The conservation and reuse project of an historic dockyard in Chantam, England, realised by Baynes and Mitchell Architects, has been shortlisted for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Shortlisted for the 2017 RIBA Stirling Prize, Command of the Oceans is a unique conservation and reuse project at Chatham Historic Dockyard by Baynes and Mitchell Architects. The complex project has included the preservation, display and interpretation of the Namur – a large 18th century naval warship – orientation to help visitors understand the Historic Dockyard’s wider role and context, and the creation of new galleries, visitor welcome and hospitality services.
At the heart of the Command of the Oceans, a striking new building has been inserted into the long, thin gap between two existing Scheduled Ancient Monuments. This forms a new entrance and circulation hub connecting hospitality areas with new gallery spaces and access to a new sunken gallery for viewing ‘the ship beneath the floor’. The adjacent buildings have been renovated and adapted to form gallery, catering and retail spaces. The profile of the new building links the saw tooth ridgelines of the existing, adjacent buildings, mirroring circulation routes inside.
A small palette of materials, mainly consisting of black metal, black limestone, board-marked concrete and composite timber have been used throughout the project – materials which respond robustly to the strong, industrial language of the existing Dockyard buildings and landscape. Complex works on site included archaeological excavations, underpinning the existing historic structure and the installation of a temporary floor suspended from the original structure to protect the historic timbers.
Command of the oceans, Chatham, England
Program: mixed use
Architect: Baynes and Mitchell Architects
M&E engineer: Skelly & Couch
Experiential designer: Land Design Studio
Structural & civil engineers: Price & Myers
Lighting design: Studio ZNA
Conservation consultants Ptolemy Dean Architect
Access consultant Ann Sawyer Access Design
Archaeologist: Wessex Archaeology
Contractor: Raymond Brown Construction Limited, Fairhurst Ward Abbotts and WW Martin
Project management: Artelia UK
Quantity surveyor: Robert Dolllin & Co Ltd
Area 2,750 sqm