Windermere Jetty is a spectacular new museum that reflects industry and engineering in one of England’s most famously beautiful locations, the Lake District National Park. A working destination, committed to conserving, saving and sharing its internationally important collection, Windermere Jetty is also one of the first contemporary buildings to be constructed on the shores of Lake Windermere in decades. Within this new museum, we tell the stories behind the boats in our collection, and actively involve our visitors in the crafts and tradition that built them.
Windermere Jetty is part of Lakeland Arts, one of the most significant arts and heritage organisations in the North of England, with a national and international reputation for the quality of its historic buildings, museum and gallery collections, and programming. It has a diverse portfolio of attractions including Abbot Hall Art Gallery and Museum of Lakeland Life & Industry in Kendal, Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House in Bowness-on-Windermere and Windermere Jetty. Abbot Hall and Blackwell are both Grade I Listed Buildings.
Our concept for Windermere Jetty was to create a museum that, while sensitive to its magnificent location, was also bold and visionary – an outstanding visitor experience that met the complex requirements of our historic boat collection. A key element of the design of the museum was, then, to preserve and enhance views across Windermere and to connect our collection to the lake and the landscape that surrounds the museum.
We worked with an expert team of designers, engineers and specialists, led by architects Carmody Groarke to develop the museum. It became the first contemporary building on the lakeshore for over 50 years, formed of a cluster of simple forms arranged to frame and connect views to boats, to water and the UNESCO World Heritage landscape. Large, cantilevered canopies protrude from each of the buildings, providing shelter for visitors and boats alike. Copper cladding was chosen as a material that reflects the site’s former industrial use as a sand and gravel dock and grading plant, and as a material that will weather beautifully and distinctively over time.
Lakeland Arts employs over 50 members of staff. Our team includes experts in the fields of conservation, collections and exhibitions, finance, communications and project management. We have also worked a team of award-winning architects, designers, engineers and specialists in the design, development and construction of Windermere Jetty.
Lakeland Arts is grateful for the generous support from individual donors, trusts and a number of organisations, without whose support, Windermere Jetty, and the conservation of its unique collection, would not have been possible: