Major milestone celebrated at The Box

Claire Turnbull
Plymouth’s latest major redevelopment scheme, The Box, celebrated a major milestone on Friday 14th September.

The ‘Topping Out’ ceremony, which was attended by the Faithful+Gould project team, museum staff, various project stakeholders and Councillors, celebrated the completion of the structural frame.

A team of consultants led by Faithful+Gould’s Exeter office have been working with Plymouth City Council and our colleagues in Atkins for the last four years on The Box, a flagship project that is transforming the city’s cultural and heritage offer in time for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in 2020.

The Box will include seven permanent galleries which will feature collections from Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and archive collections from Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, South West Film and Television Archive and South West Image Bank.

Initial work on the scheme involved the demolition of part of the existing library which was rebuilt after significant bomb damage during the Second World War. The majority of the grade II listed museum and library, originally constructed in 1910, is being refurbished as part of the scheme, and will house a number of permanent galleries with interactive exhibitions including a woolly mammoth.

The new concrete framed extension designed by Atkins, features a cantilevered floating box which will be wrapped in cladding, providing a perfect environment to store Plymouth’s fascinating and vast historic collections. Inside, the main atrium will be home to 14 restored ‘floating’ figureheads which previously adorned the bows of naval warships and are on loan to the project from the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

The project also includes the conversion of St Luke’s Church into a government indemnity scheme (GIS) compliant gallery space, capable of hosting high profile touring exhibitions, the largest of its kind in the South West. The two buildings will be linked by a revamped public realm designed by specialist urban designers boasting a new pedestrianised piazza with space for events and street entertainment as well as high quality food and retail outlets.

The Box will attract visitors to Plymouth, boosting the local economy, while also providing a hub for education and learning, with partnerships with the University of Plymouth and a host of local schools.

Click on the links below to find out more about the project and to follow its progress via the live webcam.

Project Website –

Project Webcam -



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