World Tour of Bath #6 – Holburne Museum…

Eric Parry’s Holburne Museum extension. Completed in 2011, in parallel with the restoration of the main building, which dates from 1796. The scheme took 10 years to progress through the design, planning and construction stages.

The result is a fairly impressive structure. The ceramic and glazed exterior is quite a challenging thing, particularly in the context of such as strong local character and it’s location: attached to a grade l listed building. The glazing does reflect the mature plane trees to the rear which are the start of Sydney Gardens, through which a canal and trainline pass!

The green and metallic ceramic vertical tiles work well and compliment the form of the older building and the contrast is significant. The whole scheme would have transformed the interaction of the museum with the gardens and the interior spaces are very well integrated with the 18th century building.

The ground floor cafe and outdoor seating area works well and I could see this being a very nice place to hang out in the summer – it was nice enough when I was there and I managed to avoid a pretty torrential rain storm while I was in side – to emerge with large puddles everywhere and torrents of water running down the hill to the University of Bath!

A 30 minute walk to the university campus and an interesting lecture. Lots of interesting new build projects there and overall a day of inspiring design.

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World Tour of Bath #1 – Thermae Bath Spa…

The Georgian city of Bath – a World Heritage Site and a big part of my childhood going to school there. A training/lecture event came up hosted by the University of Bath and I jumped at the chance to combine that with seeing a few of the sights.

The first of the destinations on my trip to Bath was the Thermae Bath Spa complex – opened 6 years ago after a long and very controversial ride through the design and planning system. A very modern glazed building surrounded by listed Georgian buildings hundreds of years old.

I had a personal tour of the whole facility from Katie, one of the marketing team. She showed me the huge range of facilities they have there and told me about the running of the place and some of the history of the hot springs which the complex is based on.

The roof-top hot spring-heated swimming pool was the highlight and the views were awesome. I’ll have to go back there as a paying guest one day : )

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