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Adapt + Extend: Canterbury Museum of Archeology

Part 1 Project 2015
Edwin Yu
University of Kent, UK
To house the growing display of the Canterbury Archaeology Trust, a museum is proposed in Northgate, behind the high street. The main challenge was to take an existing building with a fake Tudor facade in a conservation area and to make an adaptation that suits future needs, especially the priceless Bronze Age Boat.

The architecture was driven by making a great community and family day-out. The site itself was a low income area of mixed culture and race. The journey through the museum is an exploration, beginning from the narrow existing stairs; children run up and down a series of gentle ramps and steps, and experience the constant change in scale.

Instead of following the language of the Tudor street or other "High" architecture, the design uses ornamentation (perforated copper cladding) drawn from Canterbury Cathedral, to establish a connection with the community’s collective memory. Canterbury was involved in England's Arts and Crafts movement in the nineteenth century. Much like Pugin, this project reinterprets Gothic architecture and recreates the wonder and delight of our cathedrals.

Edwin Yu


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