Rotunda Museum, Scarbrough - £560,000

Client: Scarborough Borough Council
Landscape Architect: The Environment Partnership

The Rotunda restoration forms part of the economic regeneration and cultural rebirth of Scarborough, which has been recognised as the most enterprising place in Yorkshire and Humber winning the Government's regional Enterprising Britain competition 2008.

The Rotunda was originally opened in 1829 as one of the country's first purpose-built museums when Scarborough was a fashionable spa town.

Appointed by Scarborough Borough Council, The Landscape Group carried out restoration and refurbishment of the Rotunda Museum. The project was supported by a £1.8 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The project was designed to make the museum a gateway to the area’s dinosaur coast and to act as a tribute to the Rotunda’s designer, William Smith.

The Landscape Group carried out the

renovation of the museum’s external landscape together with the Valley Gardens.

Works consisted of the demolition and excavation of the existing Rotunda Gardens. This involved removing all existing walling, paving and seating areas, together with the installation of new land and footpath drainage.

The site was remodelled to new levels and a new layout which included additional footpaths paths and steps leading up to the museum constructed using a mix of stone for the steps and resin bound surfacing for the footpaths. To raise the levels of the garden by two metres, polystyrene fill was used. Lightweight fill materials were utilised as the gardens are located over a multi-storey car park.

Two feature paving areas were created using a mixture of yorkstone, limestone, dolomite, granite and porfidi.

The stones were laid showing different layers to replicate the Scarborough cliff faces and their intrinsic fault lines.

Sandstone circular walls were created as a backdrop to the paved areas and were tooled on site to achieve different surface finishes to mirror the faults in the paving.

New resin bound footpaths were created site wide, and old footpaths restored using resin bound gravel and Ronadeck.

The whole scheme was complemented with a new lighting scheme incorporating traditional lanterns atop modern columns. The signage to the front also received a new lighting treatment. Ancillary works included the installation of seating and handrails, top soiling (all planting was carried out later by Scarborough Borough Council) and turfing.

One of the main challenges of this contract was posed by the works being constructed over a multi-storey car park with the resulting weight restrictions which were an important consideration in the design and execution of the project.

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