The Natural History Museum, Anning Rooms

New Members Rooms, 2018

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Strikingly situated above the main entrance into Alfred Waterhouse’s Natural History Museum, the practice has designed a new Members Room providing Reception, Restaurant and Dining room, Lounge, Bar and Study Space. The Study will be a space for quiet learning and reading; but also have the flexibility to hold Members Events and talks.

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The project has been highly collab­or­ative with close working between the Museum’s key stake­holders- from membership, estates and operations, security, health safety and fire, pest management, conser­vation, inter­pret­ation and content, collections and science teams, and the external catering operator, to ensure a design which showcases the diversity of the Museum’s collection and engages members with the world-class scientific research of the organisation. 

We are delighted to be able to breathe new life back into this neglected, historic space. The beautifully curated suite of rooms will provide an exciting, inspiring and engaging space for Members and Patrons to enjoy, celebrating the Museum’s world-class collections, work and activities.”
Christina Heap, Head of Membership at the Natural History Museum

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The Members room occupies space which was always backroom and of secondary importance and status, although it could be used for display: in the 1880s the central room on the second floor was a herbarium for cellular plants This central gallery is flanked by a square room in each of the two entrance towers, once (in the 1920s) the offices of the Keeper of Botany and the Assistant in Charge of Mammals. The Bernard Sunley Botanical Collection has been rehoused from the second floor to an envir­on­mentally controlled basement room that DJA have converted to collections storage.

The project was shortlisted for the AJ Retrofit Awards 2019 in the Listed Building – under £5 million category and the AJ Architecture Awards 2019 for Refurbishment of the Year. 

Client: Natural History Museum

Filed to: Culture and Community, Heritage, Interiors and Exhibition

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