Next Project

Bath's Fashion Museum

Part 1 Project 2009
Sam Nelson
University of Bath | UK

This project aims to re-establish Bath’s Fashion Museum as a key public institution by placing it at the heart of city life. The scheme also seeks to address the general shift in the character of major cities from a place of public realm to a place of private enterprise.


The following proposal seeks to define a new public space while acknowledging the sites historic context and the cities fragmented character of walled enclosures.


The building explores the narrative role of museum architecture by providing a series of internal and external spaces with varying light, scale and proportion. It is intended that this questions the notion of a linear, chronological history and the extent to which the museum can be interpreted as a metaphor for the city.

Sam Nelson

The final undergraduate project at Bath runs for a full semester and affords each student the opportunity to develop their own project brief, consistent with the theme for the Studio. Every student is also responsible for identifying their own site, which must meet certain given criteria, and which lies within a given locale.

The theme for this year’s studio dealt with the development of the City of Bath within its existing boundaries. The emphasis was therefore on creating greater density within an existing urban boundary and an historic building environment. Additional themes, common to all final year projects, were the exploration of materiality and integration of sustainability within the final design.

Sam chose a particularly challenging site in the heart of the city. He developed the project around Bath’s existing Museum of Costume, expanding the brief to house a bespoke and carefully tailored building. His final proposition consisted of a skilfully composed sequence and hierarchy of galleries and associated spaces. These were generated through an extraordinary working process in which Sam conceived and communicated the quality of each space through an enchanting series of atmospheric drawings and illustrations. Sam combined this artistic process with careful research into, and understanding of, museum typologies and consideration of the urban realm. This resulted in a series of solutions which through the course of the project became increasingly assured and beautiful in their three dimensional resolution. Through the controlled and intelligent application of environmental, structural and constructional principles Sam demonstrated the complete resolution of his building. This resolution successfully married ambitious architectural intent with the technical ingenuity and the considered use of materials.

This project was considered by all at Bath to exemplify the ethos of the School in aspiring to the highest design standards, rooted in the application of technical excellence, cultural awareness and the use of independent creative imagination.

Mr Alex Wright

Mr Martin Gledhill
• Page Hits: 10036         • Entry Date: 24 June 2009         • Last Update: 07 July 2009