Natural History Museum


Avanti Architects is leading the multi-phased repair and restoration of the iconic façade of the Grade I listed Natural History Museum; one of the country’s most striking examples of Victorian Romanesque revival architecture and the first building in England entirely faced with terracotta.

Designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1873, the exterior of the building was aggressively cleaned in the 1980’s leading to accelerated damage to the highly decorative facade.

Avanti is currently collaborating with a team of specialists to conduct surveys and analyze the damaged terracotta elements of the building. This comprehensive analysis aims to design a bespoke toolkit for the repair of each individual block. An innovative approach utilizing high-resolution, rectifiable, scaled photographs has been employed to examine every element of the façade. These photographs serve as a valuable resource in developing a detailed schedule of interventions for each terracotta block and sculpted feature. Additionally, the ortho photographs have facilitated the tagging, referencing, and measurement of each repair, ensuring program accuracy, quality assurance, and cost estimation.

Over the past seven years, the project has been carried out in five distinct phases. Each phase involved the erection of self-supporting scaffolding within a live public environment. All phases were completed within budget and on schedule, adhering to the highest conservation standards.


All Conservation & Regeneration, Conservation & Regeneration, Culture, Design, Exhibitions, Grade I Listed, London – UK, Museums & Galleries, Natural History Museum Project, Pre 1900, UK, Work,

Restoring Alfred Waterhouse's Iconic Building facade

Location Kensington, London

Status Design

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