Press Release:
Designs for new Museum of Scouting by Tate Harmer unveiled

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Tate Harmer has won a competition to design a new museum for The Scout Association (TSA) with a scheme inspired by the concept of a colourful ‘Big Tent’.

The museum and visitor centre will be located at the TSA’s headquarters at Gilwell Park in Chingford, east London. Regarded as the spiritual home of Scouting worldwide, this was the first place where Scout leaders were trained in 1919 and is now a Scout Adventure Centre hosting regular large scale National Events . The project will be accompanied by activities for both Scouts and the general public, with the new facility due for completion in 2020.

Tate Harmer aims to create a celebratory and fun focal point for UK Scouting whilst enhancing the experience for its many international Scouting visitors. The practice’s winning scheme includes an exhibition space that tells the story of the Scouting movement and its founder Robert Baden-Powell, as well as providing a climate controlled archive store, and a new cafe and shop. Exhibits range from Baden-Powell’s Rolls Royce and Caravan to delicate film and paper items.

The 1,600m2 design is centred around a ‘Big Tent’ festooned with Scout neckerchiefs to symbolically represent the various troops on the site and all those across the world. Made from coated polyester panels, the tent will provide a canopy over the site’s central gathering space at Camp Square and connect to a new, 15 metre high timber clock and bell tower. This will act as a beacon to guide visitors along a new heritage trail through the site, as well as serving as a stack-effect ventilation chimney for the heritage centre.

Arranged around this structure, the new facilities are designed to improve the visitor experience for both day visitors to the site and for those staying at the Scout Adventure Centre.

The proposed buildings are modest, single storey and timber clad to blend into the mature landscape setting. They will be made from pre-fabricated, cross-laminated timber to minimise construction time on site and will have robust finishes in line with the Scouting philosophy of self-reliance and sustainability.

The aim is to achieve a BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding rating (the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings).

“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”, say lead architect Jerry Tate of Tate Harmer.

The TSA is applying for Heritage Lottery Funding for the project, and construction is expected to complete 2020 pending planning approval.


For more press information on Tate Harmer LLP or the project please contact:

Bobby Jewell at Caro Communications

T: +44 (0) 20 7713 9388


Notes to Editors

About Tate Harmer LLP

Founded in 2007, Tate Harmer is an award-winning architecture practice based in East London, experienced in residential, cultural, leisure and education projects that require innovative construction methods in some of the most sensitive natural and historic contexts. The practice specialises in low-energy, low impact construction whilst maintaining the highest design standards.

A significant number of their projects are in very sensitive locations, unique landscapes or important historic settings. Recent projects include The Brunel Museum, TREExOFFICE and Hoo House. The practice have also delivered a number of playful interventions at the Eden Project including a series of high level visitor walkways and a treetop research station. The practice works in and around London and as far afield as Devon and Cornwall.

About The Scouting Association

Scouting offers fun, friendship and life changing adventure to over 450,000 young people across the UK. Through a varied programme of outdoors, creative and other activities, we help girls and boys develop the skills they need to succeed in life. This is made possible by the efforts of over 115,000 adult volunteers.

Technical Details

Project Architects – Tate Harmer
Structural & Civil Engineer – Atelier One
Services Consultant – Atelier Ten
Landscape Architect – Adams Habermehl
Quantity Surveyor – Robinson Low Francis
Project Manager – Robinson Low Francis
CDM Principal Designer – Robinson Low Francis