The National Maritime Museum designed by C. F. Møller Architects & Purcell Miller Tritton is located in London, United Kingdom. This lengthy project was ignited five years ago with a ‘worthy but perhaps rather unexciting’ brief to extend the existing Museum’s archive and retrieval system, and was spurred on by the appointment of Dr Kevin Fewster as Director of the NMM and a very generous donation of £20m by international shipping magnate and philanthropist Sammy Ofer. Without this charitable gift the extension could not have been realised.
Originally the sole reason for this 1,625 sq m expansion, the Caird Library, Archive and Reading Room are a series of softly-lit study spaces and efficient storage units which more than double the NMM’s existing library capacity and enable the majority of its collection (the largest collection of maritime artefacts in the world) to be housed onsite. Between 2 and 3 million books, manuscripts, charts, journals and other archival materials are now located at the NMM in an extensive storage unit that totals almost 9 linear kilometres of shelving. Swift and simple to use, the efficient system enables academics and visitors to the NMM to peruse the collection at their leisure in a quiet environment delicately illuminated by wide panels of glass.