THIS is the winning entry in a competition to design a £16.5 million new Central Hall at the National Railway Museum in York.

UK-based Feilden Fowles’ scheme - selected from a shortlist of five designs - is for a striking ‘rotunda’ building to be constructed across Leeman Road, which would link up the two existing sides of the museum.

Museum bosses say the 4,500 square metre hall will be a key element of their Vision 2025 masterplan for the whole site, and will "celebrate and showcase the latest developments in railway technology, provide a world-class visitor entrance and be an exemplar of low-carbon and sustainable architecture".

A spokesman said Feilden Fowles beat 75 other teams to the commission for the hall, with the competition jury, chaired by Dame Mary Archer, praising its "elegant but functional design as well as its ambitious energy strategy".

He said the design was inspired by the site’s former use as working railway buildings and referenced the history of locomotive ‘roundhouses’ with a central two-storey rotunda.

Museum director Judith McNicol said: “The winning design centres around a beautifully crafted timber frame rotunda which, through the use of recycled and locally sourced materials, will dramatically reduce the museum’s carbon footprint. Feilden Fowles demonstrated a real sensitivity to the site’s railway heritage and to the historic character of the city of York.”

She said the building will play a vital role in linking the museum and provide a focal point for the wider York Central scheme to redevelop land behind York Railway Station.

Dame Mary Archer, chair of the board of trustees at the Science Museum Group, said that whilst the unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus was dominating our lives, the group wanted to see hope and ambition beyond the present dangers.

“So we are holding steady with our ambition to make this the world’s greatest railway museum,” she said. "

"If anything, the wider situation has strengthened the resolve of the Science Museum Group to move forward with our transformational plans for our five sites outside London.”