The London Museum of Water and Steam

Brentford, 2016

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The London Museum of Water and Steam is housed within the former Grand Junction Water Works Company’s Kew Bridge Pumping Station in Brentford. It is the most important historic site of the water industry in the country and houses the world’s biggest collection of large steam pumping engines that still operates in steam in their original locations. 

A central aim of the recent heritage lottery funded project has been to reveal some of the original features of the building, redefining original spaces and the connections between them. This has been achieved by careful removal of later additions to the fabric and repres­ent­ation of the spaces through the insertion of sensitively designed new building elements, lighting and services installations.

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In addition, the fabric of a large portion of the buildings has been secured with the repair of roofs and external brickwork. Functionally the project provides improved facilities for education and orientation, and a new café and retail accom­mod­ation adjacent to the entrance bringing these core functions into the public domain. A new engine house designed to house the museums narrow gauge engine stock forms a dramatic focus at the entrance into the site.

Working closely with the Museum staff, volunteers and inter­pret­ation designers, Haley Sharpe, almost all areas of the museum have been touched either lightly or with greater emphasis to re-present the exhibits, provide more accessible accom­mod­ation while retaining the spirit of this great industrial archive.

Client: Kew Bridge Engines Trust

Filed to: Heritage, Arts and Museums

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