Westminster Abbey triforium opening to public for first time in June as new museum

London’s Westminster Abbey, one of the UK’s most visited tourist attractions, is undergoing work on a new museum, marking the first addition to the visitor experience at the historic site since 1745.

The £23m (US$32m, €26m) museum, named the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, will be located inside the triforium – a loft-like space above the arches of the nave of a church – some 70ft (21m) above the Abbey's floor.

The triforium has never been open to the public and has generally been used for storage and by the occasional TV camera operator. The poet John Betjeman described the view of the Abbey from the triforium as the “best view in Europe”.

To provide access to the triforium galleries, a slim tower – constructed from stone, glass, lead and oak – is being built in a courtyard at Poet’s Corner. The tower, inspired by the Gothic architecture of the Abbey, was designed by conservation and restoration architect Ptolemy Dean, who is Surveyor of the Fabric at the Abbey.

With a star-shaped footprint that reflects a motif found throughout the 1,000-year-old landmark, the slender tower slots unobtrusively between the Chapter House and Lady Chapel. Inside, a staircase and lift will deliver visitors to the gallery spaces.

Inside the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which offer views through the windows to the Houses of Parliament, more than 300 artefacts will be on display, with exhibition design by MUMA (McInnes Usher McKnight Architects). The space will be divided into sections, including areas dedicated to Building Westminster Abbey, Worship and Daily Life, Westminster Abbey and the Monarchy and The Abbey and National Memory.

Visitors will be able to browse a wide variety of objects from the Abbey’s collection which will include the 14th-century Liber Regalis – a manuscript that explains the schedule for a coronation service – an ancient altarpiece, a corset belonging to Elizabeth I and artefacts from the reigns of Henry V and VII, guidebooks to the Abbey dating back to 1600, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage license and artist Ralph Heimans’ celebratory Diamond Jubilee portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

The new museum will open in June. It’s the biggest undertaking at the Abbey since Nicholas Hawksmoor’s West Towers, which opened in 1745.

More than 95 per cent of the money for the project has been raised from private donations, with HRH The Prince of Wales leading the fundraising campaign. The Abbey, which received 1.8 million visitors in 2016, holds 28 services every week. Members of the public can donate and sign an online guest book at the website www.westminster-abbey-galleries.org.

London  Westminster  Westminster Abbey  Diamond Jubilee Galleries  Queen Elizabeth II  monarchy  royal family  Ptolemy Dean  Ralph Heimans  MUMA 
London’s Westminster Abbey, one of the UK’s most visited tourist attractions, is undergoing work on a new museum, marking the first addition to the visitor experience at the historic site since 1745. The £23m (US$32m, €26m) museum, named the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, will be located inside the triforium – a loft-like space above the arches of the nave of a church – some 70ft (21m) above the Abbey's floor.
CLD,TOU,VAT,HAM,AAC,ARC,DES
The triforium above Westminster Abbey is being transformed into a museum space
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6479     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 6479     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: FORREC Ltd
FORREC is an entertainment design company that creates places of escape and destinations of distinction. Our creative house leads in the design of theme parks, waterparks, mixed-use and entertainment developments, resorts and visitor attractions globally.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
Perkins+Will are working on a major expansion of Detroit’s Motown Museum
Gabrielle Bullock studied architecture and fine art at the Rhode Island School of Design
"I’m one of 424 black female licensed architects in the US. We represent 0.2 per cent of the profession"

Architects must reflect the world they design for, says Perkins+Will’s director of global diversity

Brasserie Bob Bob Ricard features a Blue Dining Room inspired 
by the Orient Express
Dublin-born David Collins moved to London in the 1980s and founded David Collins Studio in 1985
"The Studio is such a big part of our lives, that it just continued, albeit through a very challenging period"

David Collins was behind the design of many of London’s hottest destinations Today his legacy lives on via the studio’s glamorous international projects

Martha Schwartz: The landscape architect on bagels, climate change and upsetting the status quo
Martha Schwartz
"No one is taking the issue of climate change seriously. Some bad things will have to happen before there is a change"

The outspoken landscape architect on climate change, bagels and being controversial

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The architect established his own sports design firm, MEIS, in 2007
Meis has helped design some of the world’s most successful stadiums
"It’s one of the tragedies of the US that so many of our stadiums get replaced after 20 years"

The Everton and AS Roma stadium architect talks through the challenges and rewards of sports facility design

features
"Part museum exhibition and part immersive environment, the project invites visitors to explore Snarkitecture’s work"

Reimagining the traditional home

UNSense aims to integrate technologies into the built environment
Ben van Berkel believes practices will all become ‘arch tech’ firms
"We’re living in the age of the iPhone, yet the architecture and construction industries are still in the Walkman phase"

On the launch of his tech startup

Musée de la Romanité is next to an ancient amphitheatre in Nîmes
French-Brazilian architect Elizabeth de Portzamparc designed the museum
"This museum is the smallest public facility I’ve worked on, but the most symbolic"

On her futuristic new museum

cladkit product news
Carlo Ratti's 'wonder wall' robot could become reality with kickstarter campaign
Unveiled at Milan Design Week, as part of Ratti's Living Nature installation, the Scribit is the result of Ratti's ongoing investigation into and development of writing machines
Lauren Heath-Jones
Carlo Ratti Associatti has developed an intelligent robot capable of writing and drawing on vertical surfaces. Called Scribit, the device ...
Empex Watertoys partners with Singapore architecture firm on new splash park
Buds is a new splash park that caters to children aged 12 and under
Lauren Heath-Jones
Empex Watertoys has partnered with Singapore landscape architecture firm Playpoint Singapore Pte to create Buds, an exciting new splash park ...
Bright Buildings to create UK's first 'open sky' swimming pool
Bright Buildings will create the retractable roof for the Open Sky pool at Ivybridge Leisure Centre
Lauren Heath-Jones
Leisure operator Fusion Lifestyle has announced that it will invest millions of pounds over the course of the next three ...
cladkit product news
Ben van Berkel launches UNSense startup to boost health and wellbeing in built environments
Kim Megson
Dutch architect Ben van Berkel and his design firm UNStudio have launched a tech startup to “improve the health and ...
Parkside opens flagship Chelsea showroom
The showroom is designed to inspire its clients
Lauren Heath-Jones
Parkside, a designer of contemporary porcelain and ceramic tiles, has opened its first showroom in the UK. Located in Chelsea ...
Dornbracht debuts Rainmoon wellness shower concept at  Salone del Mobile
Rainmoon is a multi-sensory wellness experience designed to revitalise and reinvigorate the user
Lauren Heath-Jones
Dornbracht, a German-based luxury bathroom specialist, has launched an innovative new shower experience, Rainmoon. Slated as the next generation of ...
cladkit product news
London's new pollution-eating living wall has air purifying power of 275 trees
CityTree is a living wall that reduces particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide in the air by 30 per cent
Lauren Heath-Jones
The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems ...
Kvorning wins contest to design aquaculture exhibit at Norway's Coastal Museum
The exhibition explores the history of Norway's fish-farming industry dating back to 1970
Lauren Heath-Jones
Copenhagen-based design studio Kvorning Design and Norwegian advertising agency Vindfang have won a competition, organised by Museums in Sør Trøndelag ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates