Downland Gridshell

Cullinan Studio, West Sussex, 2002


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External cladding 

Edward Cullinan Architects (website)     Download Original

  • External cladding    
  • External view through trees     
  • External detail    
  • External view    
  • Entrance    
  • Internal view, upper level    
  • Internal view, carpenters class    
  • Internal detail, upper level    
  • The artefact store below the workshop    
  • Site Plan    
  • Artefact level plan    
  • Workshop level plan    
  • Roof level plan    
  • Section    
  • North Elevation    
  • Internal Perspective    
  • Wooden model    
  • Model Internal View    
  • Model    
  • Location perspective    
  • Long section    
  • Detail through roof and clerestory    
  • Detailed section through eaves, clerestory an dcladding    
  • Joint Detail Annotated    
  • Roof details    

Green oak timber gridshell structure housing naturally lit space for restoration and research of historic timber structures

An innovative, low energy structure, the building was the first timber gridshell built in Britain. The form was created from a flat lattice of green oak that was lowered into a three-dimensional shape with the use of gravity.

The archive administration centre and exhibition hall are contained on a level sunk into the ground while the upper floor space acts as a workshop for restoration of historical timber frames.

The contents of the archive, kept under the ground surface level are protected from weather changes using minimal energy.

As well as functioning to the original brief as a workshop and artefacts store, the building has been used for a wide variety of events and attracts a large number of visitors to the museum.


  • Begun: Jun 2000
  • Completed: Jun 2002
  • Floor area: 1,220m2
  • Sector: Arts and culture
  • Total cost: £1.3M
  • Tender date: Mar 2000
  • Procurement: JCT IFC 1998
  • Address: Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, Singleton, Chichester, West Sussex, P018 0EU, United Kingdom

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