A massive, circus-like tent will be the focal point for The Scout Association’s (TSA) new museum in Chingford, London. Local firm Tate Harmer won a competition to design a museum that highlights the organization's heritage. The new project will reside in the historic Gilwell Park—the original 1919 training location for the Scouts—and will replace the Scout Adventure Center, which accommodates TSA functions and national events.
The central hub for the museum will be the 17,200-square-foot visitor center. Covering the outdoor concourse area will be the "Big Tent," a giant quilt made of Scout neckerchiefs, spanning across each of the surrounding single-story buildings. The sections of the quilt will be coated in polyester and will meet at the 49-foot bell tower.
The cluster of buildings that form the museum will be clad in timber and made up of prefabricated, cross-laminated timber, which will allow for minimal construction time and complement the surrounding landscape. An archive, exhibition space, shop, and café will be a part of the new museum.
TSA and Tate Harmer hope to achieve a BREEAM Excellence or Outstanding rating the environmentally sound building. Construction is expected to be complete in 2020.