Here’s some text from the architects:
The Ashmolean Museum, established in 1683, is the oldest public museum in Britain. In 1999 Rick Mather Architects were appointed to develop a long term masterplan and expansion scheme to provide more space and 21st century facilities for its world renowned collections.
The new building is attached to the rear of the Greek revival building by Charles Robert Cockerell, built in 1845 as The University Galleries. The Ashmolean Museum relocated its collection to the extended University Galleries in 1894 and in 1908 combined to become The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, under the keepership of the renowned archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans.
Rick Mather Architects new building has six storeys, with a floor area of 10,000m² (107,640ft2), 4000m² (43,056ft2) of which provides 100 per cent more display space. In addition to the new display space, a new entrance from St Giles, an education centre, conservation studios and loading bay have also been created. The building is organised by two major axes established by Cockerell, creating a clear route throughout the building and unifying the entire museum and collection in a coherent manner.
Two staircase lightwells are naturally lit, one by a large rooflight, the other with a 5.5 metre high window. Natural light is filtered vertically through the building to the lower ground level via inter-connecting, double-height galleries. A new grassed rooftop café terrace gives views over the ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford.
A load-shedding system monitors and controls electricity consumption. Three iterative rounds of computer daylight modelling were conducted to optimise window openings to achieve the best lighting and thermal performance.
Architect: Rick Mather Architects
Cost Consultant: Gardiner & Theobald
Structural Engineer: Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners
Services Engineer: Atelier Ten
CDM Coordinator: Gardiner & Theobald Project Safety
Building Contractor: BAM Construct UK Ltd
Project management: MACE Ltd
Acoustics: Sandy Brown Associates
Lighting: Kevan Shaw Lighting Design
£15 million Heritage Lottery Fund
£35M Private funding
The Linbury Trust
Clore Duffield Foundation
Arrow Charitable Trust
Garfield Weston Foundation
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