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Last updateTue, 24 May 2022 10am

Architectural consistency with Nordic Copper

The Windermere Jetty Museum – recently shortlisted for the 2021 RIBA Stirling Prize – is unified and defined by facades and oversailing roofs clad in Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper, responding to the unique lakeside context – as architects Carmody Groarke explain.

The museum is seen and approached from all sides, from land and water, and from a number of points of elevation. Roofs and walls therefore assume equally important status in the formal composition. Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper is used as the determining material to give architectural consistency to these elements and to the museum buildings working together as a cohesive whole. Copper is folded and pinned with a regular pattern of brass fixings to give the elevations a unique texture, which is further reinforced by the patina gained by weathering over time.

The new museum houses an internationally significant boat collection on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District National Park. It includes exhibition spaces for the display of steam launches, motorboats, yachts and other vessels, telling the stories of their construction and use on the lake. The site repurposes a historic gravel­extraction plant, continuing the working life of the place with an active conservation programme of the boats. Emphasis is placed on the visitor experience amongst buildings in a park landscape that creates a connection between people, boats and water, as well as providing a reinterpretation of the site's picturesque and industrial heritage. 

Rather than a singular huge building, a granular ensemble of smaller buildings that are square on plan creates a more fitting scale with its context. The museum therefore has a strong topographical relationship with the land and the water. The wet dock forms the centre-piece of the museum and brings the lake into the heart of the experience to present the collection at water level. Other buildings making up the visitor route including: main entrance, conservation galleries, interpretation, education and cafe, all clustered around the wet dock but elevated on a podium away from the risk of floodwaters. A conservation workshop is a standalone building placed closer to the water level on the working boatyard.

A growing series of ‘copper stories’ – building studies exemplifying the best in contemporary architecture – showcase the diversity of surfaces, forms and applications available with Nordic Copper today. For more information visit: or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.