Shetland Museum and Archives


Designed by BDP, the Shetland Museum and Archives serves as a cultural hub for the Shetland Islands in Scotland – both housing the archives of the islands and telling it’s history with a maritime theme and contemporary feel.

The new building, coming in at 3,500 square meters, integrated existing boat sheds into the design – and serves as the centerpiece to the restoration of the entire historic dock. In addition to the archives and exhibits, the museum includes a restaurant with seating for 90, and a 120 seat auditorium space.

The main building’s form is derived from the historical context – traditional Shetland building, called Lodberries, which had gabled ends ‘rising from the sea’, constructed with traditional materials [harled masonry walls, timber windows and slate pitched roofs].


But the ‘Boat Hall’ is really the center of the project. In order to create an ‘icon’ for the project, and the area, BDP created a taller, timber-clad structure made up of four inclined polygonal walls, separated by strips of vertical glazing. Once again taking cues from the area’s history, the form is based on the sails of ‘Herring Drifters’, boats which were built at the very dock where the museum is located.

The three storey tall structure is home to five historic boats – suspended at various heights within the space, viewed from two platforms within the space – recounting the history of the Shetland boat from its Viking roots to more contemporary designs.


The building was recently named winner of the Gold Award in this year’s Wood Awards.

.:images via BDP->

Posted: October 23rd, 2008
at 12:37am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,adaptive reuse

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