York’s National Railway Museum has announced that a planning application is underway for its new Central Hall. This will feature a new welcome area for guests alongside additional gallery space and will be located between the Great Hall and Station Hall.
Central Hall forms a key part of the museum’s Vision 2025 plans, which will see it transformed into a modern and inspiring 21st-century attraction.
Ahead of the planning submission, the National Railway Museum conducted a full public consultation, both online and with an in-person exhibition. This included a showcase of the six shortlisted design concepts. Feedback from this exercise has been taken on board by the project team in order to finalise the vision for Central Hall.
A key feature of the new space will be a gallery where guests can explore cutting-edge developments in rail technology. There will also be a cafe with views over the new museum square, as well as a retail unit, new visitor facilities and flexible event space.
Sustainability is key principle
The Central Hall design team, led by architecture practice Feilden Fowles, has ensured that sustainability is a key focus, using environmentally-friendly design principles and choosing materials that work in harmony with the local region and its heritage.
“We are very pleased to reach this milestone and submit the planning application,” says Judith McNicol, director of the National Railway Museum. “Central Hall is a major part of the wider Vision 2025 strategy which will not only improve our offer but also help us to inspire the next generation of engineers.
“We would like to thank everyone who came along to our engagement sessions and to those who viewed the exhibition and contributed feedback online—it’s helping us to ensure that our plans for Central Hall reflect what our visitors and community wants us to be now and in the future. We are looking forward to continuing these relationships as the scheme progresses”.
This work is a part of wider plans for York Central, a 45-hectare regeneration project that is a partnership between Network Rail, Homes England, the City of York Council and the museum. It is set to be finished by 2025, when the museum celebrates its 50th anniversary.
In addition to Central Hall, the Vision 2025 plan includes the creation of a new Wonderlab, where young visitors can learn and be inspired through experience, interactivity and play.
Images courtesy of Feilden Fowles