National Motor Museum

Leonard Manasseh and Partners, Hampshire , 1972


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Looking from the musuem entrance to the information centre 

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  • Looking from the musuem entrance to the information centre    
  • The museum building seen at night form the north, along the spine road    
  • The Brabazon restaurant from the north-west showing the patent glazed verandahs    
  • The showplace in full swing. The grass bank on the right screens a fairground area    
  • Service doors and point of emergence of monorail at south-eastern end of transept    
  • The test area    
  • Looking up into the crossing of the museum building    
  • Multi-purpose space in the middle of the Brabazon restaurant    
  • The information centre, looking towards the turnstiles    
  • View of display floors from control platform    
  • Lower level display area looking towards commercial display booths    
  • Hall of Fame    
  • Top landing of the library staircase    
  • View beneath the transept crossing of the museum building    
  • Site plan    
  • Basement level plan of motor museum    
  • Display level plan of motor museum    
  • Section looking north-west    
  • Plans of John Montagu building    
  • Long section through John Montagu building    
  • Plans of Brabazon restaurant    
  • Plan of information centre    
  • Cross section through Brabazon restaurant    
  • Long section through Brabazon restaurant    
  • Long section through information centre    
  • Details of glazed canopy    

Museum that also includes a monorail, information centre, administration building and library, in a conservation area in Hampshire

The museum required a monorail, and this was designed to run through the building horizontally. This meant the roof had to be designed at two levels to accomodate it, so a double glazed pitched roof is supported by its own columns inside the building.

The outer roof is also glazed, so maximum light can flood the building. The juxtaposition forms a cruciform shape in the ceiling, which lights up the central area whilst keeping the exhibits safe from direct sunlight.

The museum itself is roughly divided into three parts, sectioning the genre and chronological order of cars on display. It is one storey but the 'control platform' is on a mezzanine level. The roof is supported by steel spine girders which extend at the corners to form entrance canopies.

The steelwork is exposed and painted orange, whilst the roof is aluminium. The museum's walls are punctuated with steel slit windows, which give an indirect wash of light on the walls.

The information centre works like a railway concourse: entered and exited via the car park and the circulation route. It then connects onto the John Montagu building which contains the offices and library of motoring. The centre has a timber curtain wall and its steelwork is exposed, whilst the John Montagu building is made from concrete blockwork.


  • Begun: Dec 1970
  • Completed: Jul 1972
  • Floor area: 59m2
  • Tender date: 1966
  • Address: John Montagu Building, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst , Hampshire , SO42 7ZN, United Kingdom

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