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Students' vision for museum's future

3rd September 2019

Architecture students from Northumbria University have come up with a series of ideas for how The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Hartlepool could be used in the future.

The students were asked to re-imagine the cultural centre, museum and buildings on the Hartlepool Quay, and consider how they might benefit the community of Hartlepool.

Their ideas were presented as part of their degrees and are now on show through a new exhibition, situated at the Museum, with local people invited to come along and add their ideas to the mix later in the year.

As part of the project, Interior Architecture students were asked to develop ways in which the existing structures at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool could be given a new lease of life.

Master of Architecture Graduate Apprentices were asked to remodel the existing NMRN site, adapting and extending where appropriate and proposing a mix of new and existing buildings to accommodate new visions for the museum.

Meanwhile Master of Architecture students undertook a wider study to redevelop the waterfront area in relation to NMRN and connect the waterfront and the NMRN site back to Hartlepool’s town centre.

After numerous visits, research, evaluation and planning, the students have developed some fascinating creative concepts and detailed drawings on different ways in which the buildings and the site of The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool could be developed to benefit the community in the future.

These ideas are all now exhibited at The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool, with local people invited to visit and have a think about what they themselves would suggest for the site.  

Caption:Exhibition Curator Clare HuntClare Hunt, Curator of the exhibition, says: “The National Museum of the Royal Navy is at the heart of Hartlepool’s regeneration and is committed to developing a collective vision for the town, alongside the town’s partner bodies.

“This collaboration between the University of Northumbria’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment and NMRN Hartlepool establishes the start of a significant working partnership and will provide an informed and diverse contribution to the town’s future.

“We hope as many people as possible will come to see this exhibition and we look forward to gathering your own views for the town later in the year.”

Peter Dixon, Northumbria University Senior Lecturer and co–curator of the exhibition says: “The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool acted as an external client for our students and provided an exciting cultural and architectural context for a number of “real-life” architectural projects.

“As the project got underway, the students developed skills in consultation, communication and presentation. Designing to complex and conflicting social, environmental and aesthetic agendas greatly enriched their learning experience.

“These live projects are always hugely beneficial to students’ learning and portfolios and highly sought after by prospective employers. We hope people enjoy seeing our students’ designs and we are looking forward to undertaking similar work at NMRN Hartlepool in the future.”

The exhibition was designed and built by Northumberland-based company Jardine Couture, working closely with University of Northumbria and The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool.

Find out more about The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Hartlepool at

Discover more about Northumbria's Department of Architecture and Built Environment here.

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