Maritime Museum Extension - Opens July 14th

The Evening Standard has an encouraging preview of the new Sammy Ofer wing at the Maritime Museum in Greenwich, saying:

The museum seems most excited about the new facilities it provides than the design of the building. That is a good thing - we can expect to see exciting changing exhibitions now that will give Londoners reasons to return to the building several times a year.

The new wing opens next week. It's the first of Greenwich's pre-Olympics grands projets to be completed and it seems as though the work that has turned so much of central Greenwich into a building site for the last couple of years may have been worth the trouble.


max said...

Actually, the preview is not completely encouraging, this paragraph is a bit less positive:

The architectural expression in the new wing has the feeling to me of compromise between vision and execution. The low suspended ceilings and the concrete frame clash horribly in places, and there is a lack of elegance and simplicity in the detailing throughout. In general there is a feeling that the complex needs of the brief have been achieved but that there is no clear cultural vision that could give deeper meaning to the building. The minimalist idiom and the slightly chaotic planning of the extension create a disposable addition to the World Heritage Site, a building that tries to be polite but does not approach the stature of its surroundings.

I have to see it in the flesh before saying anything more, but there was a wonderful and very popular little playground there, I used to go there with my daughter really a lot, and I was really saddened when it was closed to make space for this.

Brockley Nick said...

@Max - rare is the architecture critic review that doesn't grumble about various details, but overall he says it's good and on the less subjective question about whether it will enable the museum to deliver a much bigger range of events and exhibitions, the news is good.

I never used that playground so can't comment, but there is a good one a stone's throw away in the park.

max said...

I know the other playground, this was much better. and I speak also for the end user who never liked much the one at the end of the park but was very keen on this one instead.
It was much more intimate compared than the other one, separated from the rest of the park by a high fence. More children's size.

Anonymous said...

I was dismayed to find that the Observatory Museum on the top of the hill in Greenwich Park now charges an entrance fee of £7 per person.

Very sad, it was one of the best small museums in London in my opinion. Visitors could actually come out of that place having learnt something about navigation which was so important to this country.

If the money it raises is going towards this new wing to house the overflow from the Maritime Museum model boat collection, this seems a very poor exchange.

Half of Greenwich Park seems to be closed off for the next year because they need to practice show jumping.

I can see why the regular users of Greenwich Park are not at all happy.

Anonymous said...

This building design lark is childs play?

A Horse said...

you mean 'some' regular users, in addition please bear in mind that it's not a park provided exclusivley for the use of residents so although important, their view does not trump other londoners.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am not a resident of Greenwich, but I do use the park regularly, as do many who use this blog. It is not looking good at the moment and, while I was at first puzzled by the campaign by Greenwich residents protesting at the remodelling of much of the park for the benefit of the Olympics. I now see their concerns were justified because the public is now excluded from half the park so the horsey set can practice for year.

I cannot imagine anyone being happy with half the park being blocked off and a price hike at the museum Maybe its that minority who managed to get tickets for the events.

As for this new extension, I shall check it out when I can get admission. But I shall rather be more interested in the content rather than building itself. Resigned, as many Londoners are, to having to suffer whatever creations are bestowed upon the public by the clique of pompous 'starchitects' that dominates the design of public buildings.

Anonymous said...

You may want to check with the department of
Culture or the trustees of the museum about funding and charging. Not sure there's a link to the olympics. Lou would no doubt argue that you should pay even more to see our history on display.

I live in London and quiet like the idea of seeing equestrian events or practicing in Greenwich.

Not prince Charles said...

.... And clients choose architects, write design briefs and pay. Blame them, if you must blame anyone.

Edmund said...

Resigned, as many Londoners are, to having to suffer whatever creations are bestowed upon the public by the clique of pompous 'starchitects' that dominates the design of public buildings.

The long winter evenings must just fly by.

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