Clumber Park Discovery and Exhibition Centre

Client: National Trust
Completed: 2011

Budget: £1.6m

The visitor experience at Clumber Park was officially opened in October 2011.  The works involved the reconstruction of the derelict Brewhouse Yard, in order to link together under utilised parts of the Grade II Listed collection of buildings.

The National Trust invited Allan Joyce Architects to present their initial ideas at interview. Following appointment to take the design further, the project team used a series of techniques to convey how the buildings would be developed. Both physical and digital 3D models were used to demonstrate how visitors would navigate through the exhibition spaces and what part these spaces would play in the exhibition. We worked closely with Janvs Design to develop the aesthetics and organisation of the exhibits.  Our in house Interior Designer continued this through to the built elements of the centre, with images of Clumber Park superimposed onto the glass sliding doors and also the cubicles in the toilets.  Even the floor of the toilets was a photograph of the forest floor encapsulated in resin. 

The concept was to link the derelict buildings together, whilst making the old courtyard, now the circulation space, still appear open and light.  A structural glass roof was used to give this impression and pool natural daylight into the heart of the building. Original brickwork walls, arches and pillars were repaired, cleaned and re-pointed in traditional lime mortar, now forming part of the internal exhibition space. Large York stone slabs were used on the floor, to reinforce the idea of being outside in the courtyard. The exhibition, which interprets the history and ecology of Clumber Park, is interactive to provide interest to all age groups. Support spaces to the main exhibition include a reference library, an audio-visual room and teaching spaces for school parties. The National Trust were enthusiastic about incorporating sustainable technologies into the design. Solar panels were installed on the south facing section of the new roof, rainwater harvesting for flushing toilets and a biomass boiler was installed to heat the exhibition spaces.