Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre\

Inspiring the next generation of storytellers

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

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.

  • Project Details
  • Materials

Project Summary


  • Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2008 - Best Small Visitor Attraction - Winner
  • Civic Trust Awards 2007 - Winner
  • British Guild of Travel Writers’ Awards 2006 - Best UK Tourism Project - Winner


Materials were selected to be sustainable, robust and low maintenance including high levels of thermal insulation; bricks from a local clay source; timber only using the Forest Stewardship Council standard; sedum roofing, the blanket of vegetation acting not only to provide a habitat for plants and wildlife but also to absorb a high percentage of rain water run off; recycled plastic and CDs used to form the vanity units within the public WCs. Products such as vinyl have not been used, as these contain PVC, which contains high levels of toxins known to be detrimental to the environment and human health.

Wherever possible existing materials were reused or repaired rather than replaced: broken roof tiles were individually replaced rather than whole roofs re-laid; and walls were repointed in sections, not wholly.

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