Grade II-listed Dorset Museum is an independent museum and one of the county’s pre-eminent cultural and heritage organisations. It is group of buildings in which several have had a grade II listings status since 1975. The museum has a long history of recording and conserving Dorset’s heritage and following funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Dorset Museum and public donations, this prestigious project that was over 5 years in the planning, was delivered. Acheson Construction were delighted to be selected to carry out the works and help the Museum realise their vision by transforming the site into a 'leading, contemporary cultural and heritage centre'.
The Victorian Hall and other existing spaces have been carefully refurbished and an impressive new in-fill building has been constructed to double the museum’s floor space. A suite of new galleries were also included to display collections of both national and international importance. A unique space visible to the public has been created to enable them to see vital behind the scenes work carried out by volunteers and researchers.
The project generated a lot of interest and even welcomed a royal visitor early in the programme. Prince Richard the Duke of Gloucester was given a tour by Museum Director Jon Murden and Acheson Director Colin Johnson.
The initial scope for the renovation works was the demolition and dismantling of various elements in preparation for the main construction works. Works have been carried out in a safe manner and due consideration given to the condition of the buildings and in accordance with the Grade 2 listing status and with attendance from the local Conservation Officer.
During demolition works many of the listed building features including masonry were carefully removed and retained for installation and repairs to the new structure.
Matching the masonry for repairs to existing structures was part of the enabling works brief along with using lime mortar to match existing mortar bed joints.