The Box, Plymouth

  • Client

    Plymouth City Council

  • Contractor

  • Value


  • Completion Date

    April 2020

The Challenge

The Box is one of the largest new multi-disciplinary arts and museum spaces, housing Plymouth’s most important heritage collections on one site. A grade two listed building creating heritage attractions has been further underlined by delivering a landmark that celebrates Plymouth’s role shaping world history.

The existing museum became outdated and needed re-energising. Having tabled a scoping brief headed ‘love our past – step into our future’. Research at the time revealed local people’s views: “Its somewhere to go in Plymouth that is interactive, lots of learning – and fun” (MHS – Hero’s) and It really shoes Plymouth off (city bus employ) Design challenge: To transform Plymouths Grade II listed museum, library and adjacent church into a cutting-edge facility boasting 7 galleries and 6 exhibition areas, in a space three times the original site’s size, so required intelligent engineering. Also to include a) 55m² lobbied frozen store to been incorporated into the basement below the main space, b) to house 24,000 boxes and, c) a new piazza which to link the buildings.

The Solution

It was decided to demolish the rear of the existing Central Library and design to convert the Central Library with City Museum and form a rear museum extension with archive facilities; convert St Luke’s church to an exhibition space linked by an new external piazza and adapted highway works.

The Results

The final results are exemplar, Plymouth and its’ community expectations have been far exceeded and is testament to the original brief and allowing the early formation of an integrated team approach.




Achieved Local SME


Added Value


Client Satisfaction

Contractor Performance | Commitments


98% of regular payments and have payment periods not exceeding 30 days


Undertook over 50 community activities and events – see more

Won Construction Excellence south west awards: Building Project of the Year Award, 2021




Awards: Since opening The Box has been locally, nationally and internationally recognised receiving 19 awards, including:

European Museum of the Year 2022 – Special Commendation,

iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards 2021 – Use of Digital and Technology for ‘The Box on The Box’ – Silver and,

Michelmores 2021 Property Awards – Leisure & Tourism Project of the Year – Winner and Building of the Year – Winner


Opened during Covid, the team are updating monitoring soft landings

SCF Framework Manager

Kingsley Clarke


Phone: 07805760622

Contractor Framework Manager

Guy Dawes


Phone:  07989179444