Charles Dickens Museum
Architects Purcell UK oversaw the refurbishment and extension of the Charles Dickens Museum in London.
As well as restoring the house at 48 Doughty Street – Dickens’s home at the start of his career, and the ‘birthplace’ of classics Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby – and opening the house’s attic and kitchen for the first time, the museum has expanded into neighbouring No. 49. The adjacent building has been converted into a state-of-the-art visitor and learning centre, with rooms available for formal and informal educational events, study and reading facilities.
The redevelopment project has given the museum the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conserve and improve the historic building at No. 48, restoring the Grade I listed house to its original, early Victorian splendour with the help of heritage specialists and literary scholars.
The £3.1m ‘Great Expectations’ project, funded substantially through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), was the most significant legacy of Dickens’ 2012 bicentenary, securing the future of the building for generations to come and offering a brand new visitor experience for the 21st century.