• Admin

Reuse of an Historic Building - Winner (two of two) - Architecture Awards 2021

Architecture Awards 2021


There were joint winners for the category 'Reuse of an Historic Building'.


The second of these was the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill.


Client: Derby Museums and Art Gallery Derby Museums Architect: Bauman Lyons Bauman Lyons Architects Lead Contractor: Spellar Metcalfe



Derby Silk Mill has undergone a transformation into the Museum of Making. The Grade II listed building has been made fully accesible to the public for the first time. In addition, a new triple height atrium, the Civic Hall, has been built alongside and in diaglogue with the former factory building.


Derby Museums secued major grant funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Arts Council England; D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Derby City Council. Significant support was also received from Rolls-Royce plc and a range of charitable Trusts and Foundations.






The Museum showcases a 300 year history of innovation, design and manufacturing in Derby. It also has a gallery which is the southern gateway to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.


The judges were impressed that the building meets the highest environmental standards. The museum has a BREAM rating of 'Very Good' - the highest rating achievable for a refurbishment. Throughout the building there is a widespread use of 'eco-board' - a particle board made from agricultural residues such as straw or reeds, which are bonded together with the natural cellulose fibres.


This was also the first heritage project in the UK to use an integrated procurement model - IPI - designed to instill collaboration and reduce the incidence of litigation between parties.


The museum and the team of contractors formed a virtual company and each organisation paid into a bond, to be returned if the project was delivered on time and budget, and lost if not. This, along with a shared commitment to the collaborative principles of the project, instilled shared objectives, a spirit of innovation and team work.


We would definitely recommend a visit if you've not already been! You can explore everything from Derby's Palaeolithic past, the reason UNESCO added the Derwent Valley Mills to the World Heritage List, to more modern day feats of engineering. There is also a new destination cafe and a shop that showcases the work of talented makers, creators and designers from across the region.