The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre was created to celebrate the life and work of the late Roald Dahl and to promote literacy and storytelling in children.
The challenge was to create a unique place, charting not only the life and work of one of the world’s favourite storytellers, but also to celebrate and promote literature and literacy in children. The many functions required of the small site were also crucial to the brief, with the buildings ultimately encompassing a complementary mix of commercial, residential, public, and educational uses.
The existing site was a quirky collection of listed buildings clustered around a small courtyard; located within a conservation area; surrounded by residential developments with restricted site access, Achieving planning consent and then building the project was never going to be straightforward.
The Big Idea
Our design transformed the listed coaching inn, stables and miscellaneous structures dating back in places to the 16th century to create a place that reflects Dahl’s Norwegian heritage and the slightly sinister nature of his stories.
Accommodation includes galleries, a climatically controlled archive and reading room, a flat to let, café, writer in residence apartment, shop, offices and a suite of education spaces for visiting school parties. Key interventions included the new timber clad exhibition gallery and the glazed circulation space linking the existing buildings and providing step free access for all.
The large cobbled courtyard acts as an external ‘room’ that can be used for summer concerts, recitals and carols around a Christmas tree.