Woodhorn: Northumberland Museum, Archives, Country Park

  • Location  Morpeth, United Kingdom
  • Client  Northumberland County Council /Wansbeck District Council
  • Sector  Civic & Government
  • Status  Completed

The client’s brief for this project was to create a new building type; combining the mining museum with county record office facilities to create a single facility offering a source of information on both the local and wider community social and cultural history.

The remaining structures of the pithead complex at Woodhorn are Grade II listed buildings and the central pithead structures and associated winding houses are designated as a scheduled monument. The design that has been developed aims to respect these buildings whilst at the same time having a landmark quality in its own right.

RMJM’s dramatic roof profile corresponds to the industrial site nature, and is a modern interpretation of ‘heavy engineering’ to parallel the pitwheel skyline profile of the site.

Existing buildings were renovated and incorporated into the new build project, with sensitive connections and carefully considered adjacencies. The original brief was challenged by RMJM, ultimately enabling an integrated new build series of art gallery spaces, that were originally relegated to remote existing buildings elsewhere on the site.