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New St Albans museum and art gallery project chooses architects for major £6.75m renaissance project

The new museum and gallery will transform the Grade II* listed Town Hall in the heart of St Albans to showcase 2,000 years of the City’s heritage. St Albans City and District Council is working with St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust and the University of Hertfordshire Galleries on the £6.75m project.

John McAslan + Partners has extensive experience in the regeneration of heritage buildings. This award-winning practice was responsible for the redevelopment of King’s Cross station. It also transformed the Camden Roundhouse, a former a steam engine repair shed into a culture and entertainment venue. The practice’s ethos of creating architecture to improve people’s lives will be particularly relevant in redeveloping the Grade II* listed Town Hall for public use and advice from English Heritage will ensure the building’s continued protection.

John McAslan + Partners worked on the redevelopment of King’s Cross station

Coun Annie Brewster, Portfolio Holder for Sports, Leisure and Heritage for St Albans City and District Council, said: “The appointment of architects and designers is a real milestone along the road to delivering a wonderful new state-of-the-art museum and art gallery in the centre of St Albans.
“They will bring their impressive proven design talents to help transform our beautiful Grade II* listed Town Hall into a great visitor attraction for our City. In the New Year we will be announcing many exciting ways St Albans City and District residents can actively support the project.”

Urban Salon will design a dynamic and flexible exhibition space to showcase over 2,000 years of the City’s heritage and the museum’s collection within the Town Hall. The space will be used to provide community learning and enjoyment and to accommodate a contemporary exhibition programme for art and culture. The design studio will also create a flexible exhibition kit including display cases which will enable the museum to evolve and adapt its displays easily. Urban Salon was selected for their extensive experience of museum design and interpretation projects. Their previous clients include the British Library, Victoria & Albert Museum and Southampton City Council’s SeaCity.

Urban Salon’s work on the British Lobrary’s Georgian exhibition

The new museum and gallery project has secured a development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Work is now underway to design the new museum and art gallery to help secure a total £2.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Council has already committed to contributing £2.25m to the project.

In addition, the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust is seeking to raise a further £1.7 million from the public, charitable trusts and local businesses.
To pledge a donation or find out how you can become involved in the Renaissance: St Albans campaign, visit www.renaissancestalbans.org.uk.