Arts & Civic

Herbert Art Gallery & Museum

Coventry, West Midlands

The Herbert won the Guardian Family-Friendly Museum Award in 2010 and attracted 311,000 visitors in its first year following re-opening, compared to 80,000 before redevelopment.  The project houses galleries, the museum, the city archives, a history centre, community arts studios, a temporary exhibition centre, a cafe and the museum shop.

The new design turned the back of the building into a new front, facing towards the Cathedral and University Square, the city’s principal tourist attraction, creating a route connecting it to the existing main entrance.

The new building closes the south easterly corner of the square with a positive urban statement, in the form of a two storey high glazed route flanked by new galleries and a history centre.  This improves the relationship with Bayley Lane and the historic buildings opposite, mediating between the Herbert and the historic street pattern through landscape interventions.

The roof over this new arcade and History Centre is a dramatic exposed Glulam gridshell, inspired by the roof structure of Sir Basil Spence’s Cathedral opposite, and cross-laminated timber panels. Raked timber columns support this structure on curved beams above the History Centre along the western edge, while the new two storey pre-fabricated, white concrete gallery extension offers support along the east.

Client Name
6,600 sqm
£13.2 million