Architype has designed a dynamic building with a clear and simple form and layout that creates a variety of stimulating internal spaces, with spaciousness, exhibition areas and distinctive public and private zones as key design features. Special attention has been paid to creating a design that is welcoming to both regular and drop-in visitors. The choice of internal materials reflects the characteristics of each internal activity zone, creating a clear and defined arrangement of spaces.
The building takes the form of two simple and distinct masses separated by a ‘buffer zone’ which is articulated into an entrance foyer, reception, information and display area, overlooked by bridges and a tunnel at higher levels connecting the two spaces.
The larger of the two masses, an un-perforated concrete structural box with vented cedar shingle cladding, holds the main archive and records repository forming secure accommodation over three storeys and providing thermally isolated and environmentally controlled conditions – tuned and optimised for archival storage. The other, a lightweight 2-storey timber framed system houses the offices, public search rooms and education facilities. Specified for their graceful weathering patterns, the proposed palette is made up of high quality ‘natural’ materials, which sit, in visual harmony with the landscape.