Beamish Open Air Museum

A shortlisted RIBA competition scheme to create a gateway building to the world famous open air museum, which tells the stories of the agrarian and industrial revolutions and life in the North East of England from the early 19th to mid 20th century.

The scheme is conceived as a landscape path preparing the visitor for ‘time travel’. This approach to Beamish begins miles from the site itself with the sound of Radio Beamish, transmitting the industrial archive beyond the site boundaries.

From the car park, a zigzag path cuts between mounds of spoil, leading to hard landscape plate where a group of lightweight structures are laid out. These borrow and adapt typologies of the industrial past: the saw-tooth depot shelters a ‘mined’ exhibition landscape and leads to the tram stop.

The gentle sloping path echoes the roads around Beamish and describes the places that occupy the open-air museum beyond.