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Are the new-build proposals at the NRM on the wrong track?

The National Railway Museum in York has unveiled an exhibition showcasing design concepts for a new building; Central Hall.

This development will form part of the museum’s upcoming Vision 2025 scheme which is estimated to cost around £55 million.

The venture is expected to involve other changes, including a transformation of both the South Yard and Great Hall.

It is hoped that the project will be complete in time for the 50th anniversary of the museum in 2025.

Railway museum or art gallery?

However, much of the feedback given online suggest an overall negative opinion of the Central Hall designs.

Numerous people have taken to Facebook to air their concerns about the style of the concepts, with many claiming they detract from the heritage feel of the venue.

One individual believed the designs were too modern and said: “I thought this was supposed to be for a railway museum. They all scream ‘art gallery’ to me.”

Whilst another claimed: “There is nothing in any of these designs to reflect the railway heritage or what the building is or what it means to people.”

The final five teams comprise of names such as 6A Architects, Heneghan Peng Architects and Feilden Fowles.

Positive outlook

Director of the NRM, Judith McNicol, said: “I am very pleased to share the five new design concepts for our new Central Hall which will showcase our collection and future innovations from the rail industry in an inspirational, purpose-built gallery.

“Although the final designs are some way off, the winning team will go on to create the final building which will be the cultural focal point at the heart of York Central“.

Tomorrow evening there will be an opportunity between 16:00 and 19:30 to meet museum colleagues and discuss the project.

The exhibition is currently open to visitors until 29th March, with the museum continuing to allow free entry. Any donations are welcome.

Images of the finalist design concepts are available to view below:

**concept images courtesy of Malcom Reading Consultants and all respective teams**