Extension and refurb project will create four new storeys of galleries

Carmody Groarke has won planning permission and listed building consent for its expansion of the historic Dorset County Museum in Dorchester.

The project involves refurbishment of the existing buildings and a contemporary 2,500sq m extension containing welcome and circulation spaces as well as four new storeys of galleries.

The expansion will provide specialist display and conservation of the museum’s internationally important geological, archaeological, palaeontological, literature and fine art collections.

Kevin Carmody, a director of Carmody Groarke, said the planning victory was a “wonderful opportunity” for the museum to create a more coherent and comprehensive visitor experience.

“Careful restoration of existing buildings will be given new context and meaning by the addition of contemporary architectural interventions,” he said.

“Not only will this be a locally and regionally important civic building, it will allow an international quality collection to be cared for and exhibited in one place for the first time and to be enjoyed for generations to come.”