EXCITING news – London’s National Army Museum is set to re-open to the public on 30 March this year following a radical transformation.
The Chelsea site has been reconfigured with architects BDP to create a welcoming, accessible and flexible environment, enabling the museum to manage increasing visitor figures, predicted to reach 400,000 by 2026.
The bright new building will include more than 2,500 objects in five permanent thematic galleries – Soldier, Army, Battle, Society and Insight – laid out over four floors. There will also be a 500m² temporary exhibition space, study centre, three-room learning centre and brand-new café, shop and play base for children aged up to seven.
Director general Janice Murray said: “The new National Army Museum is a bright, contemporary space where visitors of all ages can learn about the British Army past and present.
“The thematic galleries provide a space to explore and discuss the Army and its relevance to society in ways that we sometimes would not imagine from fashion and films to flood defences and, of course, conflict. We are excited to welcome visitors to come and explore this story with us in the new Chelsea museum.”
There are lots of interactive activities for visitors, such as finding out if they’ve got what it takes to become a soldier with tests and marching drills, or experiencing what it’s like to drive a tank or drum a battle command. The galleries feature inspiring personal stories, history, culture, fashion, technology, information on the impact of the British Army around the world and much more.
Sir Peter Luff, chair of Heritage Lottery Fund, which contributed £11.5m to the £23.75m redevelopment, added: “The National Army Museum is quite literally transformed. It’s always been a great place to learn about the British Army’s role in military and civilian life but it now has an inspiring new energy and purpose.”