Museum of Somerset
The Museum of Somerset project is an exemplar in constructive conservation, in that it has unlocked and defined a new long term future for the most important buildings in Taunton, county town of Somerset. Through the conservation of the buildings and the imaginative re-display of the collections, the project has enhanced, protected and provided a new interpretation of a significant heritage site.
FCBStudios were appointed by Somerset County Council as Architects and Design Team Leaders for the Museum of Somerset project in May 2006.
The vision for the Museum of Somerset was to unlock and interpret Somerset’s rich history and heritage in an innovative, memorable and sustainable way; not only for visitors to the county but also for the benefit of the people of Somerset.
We wanted it to answer key questions, as well as to pose them, while inspiring visitors to visit the towns, villages and landscapes of Somerset and learn more about a diverse and beautiful county. We also wanted it to complement the work of community museums and other heritage sites, organisations and initiatives throughout Somerset.
The project demonstrates the power of conservative, creative re-use and has transformed the standard of access for visitors, understanding and enjoyment at the Grade I-listed Taunton Castle. The opportunities for learning have been greatly improved and the appropriate facilities and management strategies for ensuring the long-term financial sustainability of the museum are in place.
2012 LABC Building Excellence Award (South West): Best Community Project: Winner
2011 West Somerset Building Control Award: Best Building Overall: Winner
2011 West Somerset Building Control Award: Best Community Building: Highly Commended