Design + Build
British Film Institute Master Film Archive, hidden away in the Warwickshire countryside just outside the village of Gaydon is the pioneering Master Film Archive for the British Film Institute. The 3000m2 building sits in a secluded clearing on a disused Ministry of Defence bunker that once stored nuclear warheads. The Master Film Archive stores 450,000 canisters of acetate and nitrate film reels which are highly flammable. The films are of great historical value and it was therefore vital that any building made to store the film be of the most exacting standards to make sure that this important resource could be maintained for future generations.
|Client||British Film Institute|
|Architect||Edward Cullinan Architects|
|Project manager||Buro Four|
|Structural engineer||Curtis Consulting|
|Services engineer||Couch Perry & Wilkes|
project value - £9 million
"“This building might be described as a Modernist machine for preserving culture. The film stores protect 190,000 canisters of unstable nitrate film, and 240,000 acetate reels at minus 5C, and at a fixed humidity. The archive could have been a simple response to functional imperatives – a serviceable oblong of concrete bunkers equating form with function – but this is more ambitious: a matrix of concrete bunkers clad with corrugated stainless steel; a distinct, characterful piece of architecture. In plan, elevations and material detailing, the Archive’s design draws from both a stripped down industrial modernism, yet also radiates a very particular kind of 21st century finesse and environmental efficiency”." - RIBA Awards 2012 Citation
""The BFI's new Master Film Store has radically improved the conditions in which a large portion of the Nation's Film Collection is stored and will preserve this vital part of our shared cultural heritage for years to come. In meeting the extraordinary and challenging design brief, the team has created a sophisticated and sustainable building...The Master Film Store has set a new benchmark for safe and sustainable storage within the international film archiving community."" - Sarah-Jane Lucas, Head of Strategic Projects, BFI, January 2012
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