Clarkebond Engineers appointed to new national Brunel museum

Clarkebond has been appointed by the ss Great Britain Trust to provide structural engineering services on the new national Brunel museum alongside Bristol’s Floating Harbour.

The museum will be part of the £3 million Being Brunel project which explores the mind and works of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, considered to be one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history.

The new museum comprises a steel-frame exhibition hall containing multiple gallery spaces and a mezzanine level and a café and is being designed in the style of the Great Exhibition, with exposed curved trusses and exposed column connections.  There are particular engineering challenges associated with the proximity of the building to the harbour wall.  Piled foundations will be installed with the ground floor cantilever levering over the piles towards the harbour wall.

Visitor attractions in the development will include many authentic never-seen-before artefacts and Brunel’s drawing office.

‘We are delighted to be part of the team working on this prestigious development,’ commented Clarkebond director, Martin Hathaway.  ‘It is an honour for our engineers to work on a project to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest engineers of all time.’

The new two-storey building will lie alongside Brunel’s historic ship ss Great Britain and is due to start construction in November this year and is scheduled for completion in February 2018. Brunel's ss Great Britain will remain fully open while the new museum is built. Visitors will see the new building taking shape, along with interpretative information panels and artist impressions, during their visit.

Engineers: Clarkebond
Contractor: Beard
Architects: Alec French