New learning centre created at UNESCO World Heritage Site

Modern materials help educate the past.

Troldtekt acoustic ceilings in school buildings

In the centre of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the city of Bath, The Roman Baths and Pump Room is a site of international historical and archaeological significance and attracts over one million visitors each year.

However, dedicated learning space was limited to a single room set in the most congested part of the museum. The FCB scheme provides a new Clore Learning Centre and publicly accessible Bath World Heritage Centre within a neighbouring group of nineteenth-century buildings. These new spaces connect to The Roman Baths through a vaulted undercroft beneath the street at the Roman ground level. The Learning Centre features three state-of-the-art learning rooms, break out space and a hands-on Investigation Zone set among real Roman remains.

This scheme unlocks the historic spaces by navigating changes in level between three different buildings and across a complex archaeological site. The generous learning spaces are recovered from the shells of the nineteenth-century fabric, and supported by the essential ancillary functions previously lacking: a generous cloakroom, dedicated WCs, offices and a lunchroom.

Beneath the city streets, meticulously planned, ramped walkways navigate a way across and through standing archaeology in a part of the site that has been opened to public access for the first time. Part of the undercroft provides a third learning space where, immersed in Bath’s archaeological and historical past, children can try archaeology for themselves.

With the learning spaces cut into the exposed roof structure, the architects specified Troldtekt’s acoustic wood wool panelling in a natural finish to complement the surrounding wood, minimise the sound reverberation and dampen the noise from large groups of excited school children. Troldtekt is a perfect choice for this kind of application where its sustainable characteristics coupled with superior acoustic qualities provide a comfortable interior environment.

Councillor Dine Romero, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Communities and Culture, added: “About 15,000 school children and community groups are expected to use the Roman Baths Clore Learning Centre every year. The new, purpose-built facilities will improve the quality of their visit to the Roman Baths dramatically, with specially designed learning rooms and a hands-on Investigation Zone which will offer a memorable experience for primary school children.”