The new museum, which opened in 2018, tells the extraordinary story of hero engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, through never-before-seen personal possessions, as well as interactive exhibits and audio-visual experiences.
A key requirement of the new building was to provide an accessible and exciting museum in a unique location beside Brunel’s historic ship, Bristol’s Floating Harbour, and the 1840s Dock Office building. It replaced derelict buildings, with the new design reflecting dockyard surroundings that Brunel would have encountered during construction of the SS Great Britain.
Integral to this is the recreation and interpretation of the dockyard as an appropriate setting for the SS Great Britain, in order to help visitors understand her historical context and local and national connections.
Chief Executive of the SS Great Britain Trust, Dr Matthew Tanner, said:
“This award is a real credit to our staff, volunteers and Alec French Architects who worked so hard to make Being Brunel a reality. By preserving Brunel’s legacy in this way, the museum aims to show not only what the man made, but what made the man and what we can learn from his legacy to inspire engineers and innovators of the future.”
Nigel Dyke, Director of Alec French Architects, said:
“Alec French Architects are delighted that Being Brunel has been recognised with this award which once again shows how successful the SS Great Britain Trust has been in creating a world class visitor attraction in Bristol.”
As a winner, the project has automatically been entered into the regional awards for this category and Best Educational Building, which will be held on Friday 12th July 2019.