Tate Harmer's tent-covered Scouting Museum festooned with symbolic neckerchiefs

The concept is to provide a space for celebration – a place that is rooted in Scouting history, but also looks towards its future
– Jerry Tate, lead architect

A big tent festooned with neckerchiefs will be the centrepiece of a new museum dedicated to the international Scouting movement.

Architecture studio Tate Harmer have won a competition to design the £6m (US$7.3m, €7m) project, which will be located at Gilwell Park in Chingford, east London – the “spiritual home” of the UK branch of the Scouting Association, and the place where first Scout leaders were trained in 1919.

The Scouting Museum’s colourful design is intended to create a celebratory feel for visitors to the attraction, including international Scouting visitors. The neckerchiefs lining the 1,600sq m (17,200sq ft) coated polyester structure symbolically represent the various troops on the site and all those across the world.

The main tent will cover a central Camp Square and connect to a 15m high timber clock and bell tower; a beacon to guide visitors along a heritage trail through the site. Subtle new single storey buildings – including a visitor centre, archive, cafe and shop – are designed around this structure. They will be prefabricated and timber clad to minimise construction time and reflect “the Scouting philosophy of self-reliance and sustainability.”

“The concept is to provide a space for celebration – a place that is rooted in Scouting history, but also looks towards its future,” said lead architect Jerry Tate. “The new Camp Square will be at the beating heart of Gilwell Park and the Scouting movement, and will reflect the energy and diversity of Scouting in the twenty-first century.”

The museum’s exhibition space will explore the history of the movement and the story of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting, with artefacts on display including his Rolls Royce, caravan and work papers.

The UK’s Scouting Association is applying for Heritage Lottery Funding for the project. If the plans receive planning approval, construction is expected to complete in 2020, with part of the facility open a year earlier to celebrate the organisation's centenary.

Scouts  Scouting Association  Tate Harmer  museum  architecture  design  Gilwell Park 
A big tent festooned with neckerchiefs will be the centrepiece of a new museum dedicated to the international Scouting movement. Architecture studio Tate Harmer have won a competition to design the £6m (US$7.3m, €7m) project, which will be located at Gilwell Park in Chingford, east London – the “spiritual home” of the UK branch of the Scouting Association, and the place where first Scout leaders were trained in 1919. The
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The main tent will cover a central Camp Square and connect to a 15m high timber clock and bell tower / Tate Harmer
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