Chichester Districit Museum
Keith Williams' Chichester District Museum Gains Consent

At its meeting on 28 January 2009, Chichester District Council granted detailed planning approval for Keith Williams' project for a new 1,300 sqm district museum and residential project for 26 units in Chichester's historic core.

Williams said " It is never easy proposing a contemporary building in any historic city so I am particularly delighted that the project has been approved. Our careful work in explaining our proposals to the community have engendered a greater understanding of the building, and its qualities. We have carefully crafted the project to sit comfortably within its context whilst ensuring that it is invested with a distinct civic sense appropriate to its cultural role in the city"

The site of the Chichester District Museum development, which is close to the City's Cathedral, is currently a car park but contains the remains of the Roman baths of the city (Noviomagnus Regni). The baths, discovered in the 1970s, will become a permanent exhibit within the Chichester District Museum as part of the exhibitions covering the story of Chichester and its District. In Williams' scheme the remains will be displayed in situ and become an intrinsic part of a museum with the new galleries stacked above. The museum is an integral part of a broader project including a residential development, also by Williams' office, which will complete the urban block of which the museum is a key part.

In the original RIBA run competition, Williams was selected ahead of a shortlist which included Panter Hudspith, Tony Fretton Architects, Caruso St John, van Heyningen Haward, and Jamie Foubert.

Development work is underway on the £6.9 million Chichester Museum project with construction due to start in early 2010.


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