WilkinsonEyre will design new UK National Railway Museum in Leicester

Architecture studio WilkinsonEyre have been selected to develop a brand new railway museum in Leicester, UK, after a period of public consultation.

The new museum is a partnership between Great Central Railway, Leicester City Council and the York’s National Railway Museum. Located next to the historic railway terminus at Leicester North station, it will house significant locomotives and carriages from the UK’s national collection.

Six candidates were in the running to design the new building, including Farrells, Grimshaw and HawkinsBrown.

WilkinsonEyre’s proposal was the one that swayed the public and the competition jury. The design will see three two-storey exhibition halls constructed alongside the station. A glass wall will allow visitors arriving by train to see into the museum, and museum visitors can watch the trains travelling past. The existing railway station building and platform will be restored and maintained, and may be expanded in the future.

The simplicity of the plans mean the £18m (US$22m, €20m) project budget, of which £10m (US$12m, €11m) will be provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, can be concentrated on the exhibitions.

“We have a number of irreplaceable locomotives which will go on display within the museum,” said National Railway Museum director Paul Kirkman. “Famous names like ‘Green Arrow’ and ‘Butler Henderson’ deserve to be shown off in a building that is just as iconic, but crucially has to be able to protect the exhibits too.

“The Wilkinson Eyre design provides the optimum conditions to display these important items from the National Collection within a building of stunning visual presence.”

Wilkinson Eyre director Chris Wilkinson promised to progress a design “that will be a great asset for Leicester.”

Great Central Railway chief executive Andy Munro claimed the museum will explore how railways contributed to the social and economic history of Leicester, adding “this will be a museum for the whole of the city and the county.”

“There were several key factors to consider,” he said. “Would the new building be the right environment for the intended displays, was it iconic enough considering where it will sit on the city skyline and of course, does it fit with the project’s budget?”

“The project will help us to further the preservation of the heritage of the Great Central Railway while at the same time create a new tourist attraction in Leicester, contributing to the on-going regeneration of the city.”

WilkinsonEyre  National Railway Museum  Leicester  locomotives  architecture  museum design  Grand Central Railway 
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Architecture studio WilkinsonEyre have been selected to develop a brand new railway museum in Leicester, UK, after a period of public consultation. The new museum is a partnership between Great Central Railway, Leicester City Council and the York’s National Railway Museum. Located next to the historic railway terminus at Leicester North station, it will house significant locomotives and carriages from the UK’s national collection. Six candidates were in the running
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The design will see three two-storey exhibition halls constructed alongside the historic Leicester North station / WilkinsonEyre
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