Somerset

Bath's Holburne Museum wins architecture award

The Holburne Museum in Bath
Image caption The Holburne Museum's new extension was designed by architect Eric Parry

A museum in Bath has been chosen for an award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba).

The Holburne Museum in Great Pulteney Street was one of four buildings to win a south-west of England award, but the only winner of building of the year.

Other winners include the Dyson Centre for Neonatal Care in Bath, and The Triangle, a collection of 42 sustainable homes in Swindon.

The Holburne Museum reopened in May 2011 after an £11.2m transformation.

The three-year project included the restoration of the Grade I listed building and the creation of a ceramic and glass extension.

'Ethereal quality'

The museum, which was the city's first public art gallery, was founded in 1882 and is home to fine and decorative arts built around the collection of Sir William Holburne.

"This intelligent project has recovered a lost connection between the city and an 18th Century pleasure garden," said a Riba spokesperson.

"Glimpsed from a distance through the trees, there is an unexpected ethereal quality to the extension to the museum.

"The use of materials and layering to the facade creates a sophisticated play of shadows, light and reflection - beautiful and unique, creating a building of true character that is underpinned by careful historical research and analysis and very much of its site."

Tired but beautiful

Alexander Sturgis, director of the Holburne said: "We are thrilled that our wonderful new building has received this recognition.

Image caption The Holburne Museum reopened in May 2011 after an £11.2m transformation

"A tired but beautiful building has been transformed into a wonderful new museum, giving us the space to completely redisplay our collection and put on ambitious exhibitions such as our current show of portrait sculpture."

Mr Sturgis said the new extension had delivered its promise of "reuniting our building with the park behind".

He added visitors could now enjoy "spilling out into the garden" as people have enjoyed doing since the 18th Century.

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