Protecting the Archives

Neil Tomlinson Architects were commissioned to help transition, store and protect the fascinating and highly-varied archive of historic objects and documents managed by Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, as it moved from its original home to a new store in Charlton.

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is a registered charity, formed in 2014 to look after key structures, objects and historic records. The museum collections and archive were originally housed in a Grade-II-listed building in Artillery Square, Woolwich Arsenal, directly alongside the Thames. This building now forms part of Royal Greenwich’s new Creative District development, a performing arts and cultural centre.

For the new home of the archives, Neil Tomlinson Architects worked with Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust to convert and refurbish an existing 477 sq m, double-storey space, ensuring the building was completely fit for purpose, including the creation of a climate-controlled area for more sensitive pieces, as well as ensuring easy access and navigation for staff and volunteers. A new-build internal two storey block is shared between the two units along the party wall, with the ground floor used by Royal Greewich Heritage Trust and the top floor (at mezzanine level) for use by the next-door tenant.

The Trust’s internal area includes administrative offices and new kitchen/bathrooms. ‘I was lucky enough to live in Greenwich for many years’, Neil Tomlinson, the Founder of the studio commented, ‘so it was a particular privilege for my practice to be involved in this project and with a London borough that has played such a significant role in the history of the capital. We are delighted to have been able to make a contribution towards preserving these artefacts for both history scholars and future generations of residents.’

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