The new museum will be located within Gilwell Park - the first place where Scout leaders were trained in 1919 - which currently houses the Scout Adventure Center that is home to several national events. The new facility will provide accommodation for these events, as well as new activities for both the Scouts and the general public.
The focal point of the 1600sqm visitor’s centre will be the structure’s ‘Big Tent’ canopy, made up of a quilt of brightly-colored Scout neckerchiefs symbolic of the various troops from around the world. The panels will be made from coated polyester and span from the perimeter of the central gathering space up to a 15m tall timber clock and bell tower. The tent and tower will serve as a beacon guiding visitors through the park’s new heritage trail, while provided stack-effect ventilation for the heritage centre.
The single-story buildings that make up the complex will be constructed from pre-fabricated, cross-laminated timber to minimise construction time on site and clad in timber to integrate into the surrounding mature landscape. The scheme will contain exhibition space telling the history of the Scouting movement, a climate-controlled archive, a new cafe and shop. Opening exhibits will range from founder Robert Baden-Powell’s Rolls Royce and Caravan to delicate film and paper items.
The project is aiming for a BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding rating and will feature finishes that project the Scouting philosophy of self-reliance and sustainability.
“The concept is to provide a space for celebration – a place that is rooted in Scouting history, but also looks towards its future. The new Camp Square will be at the beating heart of Gilwell Park and the Scouting movement, and will reflect the energy and diversity of Scouting in the twenty-first century”, says lead architect Jerry Tate of Tate Harmer.