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Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre & Museum

Rievaulx Abbey Visitor Centre & Museum

Commercial & Leisure

 

Location: Helmsley
Architect: Simpson & Brown
Client/Owner: English Heritage
Structural Engineer: Dosser Group
Main Contractor/Builder: Simpson (York) Ltd
M&E: SDS Engineering Consultants
Quantity Surveyor: RNJ Partnership
Joinery Company/Wood Supplier: Cowley Timber & Partners
Wood Species: Scandinavian Spruce
Photography Credit: Giles Rocholl Photography

The aim of the project was to upgrade the museum building to meet modern curatorial standards, encourage visitors into the ruins, and improve facilities. A glulam spruce central hall has been inserted into the existing L-shaped timber visitor centre. Visually the new structural frame echoes the existing columns and arches of the abbey ruins. The frame gradually splays to reveal previously obscured views. The frames are connected by CLT sheeting at roof level and a perimeter edge beam containing concealed lighting and services. These panels are exposed where possible and stained to match the mainframe. The slot windows formed within the vertical CLT panels echo the local timber agricultural buildings and provide discreet views to the terrace. Off-site fabrication solved the problems of a restricted site and tight programme over winter.