London Architects Restore Historic Ship & Let Visitors Walk Beneath Its Hull

London Architects Restore Historic Ship & Let Visitors Walk Beneath Its Hull

The tea clipper, 'the Cutty Sark' has undergone specialist conservation work and has reopened to the public.

Emma Hutchings
  • 6 july 2012

London architects Grimshaw have restored the last surviving tea clipper the Cutty Sark and it is now open to the public in Greenwich, allowing visitors to explore the ship and view interactive exhibits.

The Cutty Sark has been raised 11 feet within the dry berth, relieving the keel of the ship’s weight to preserve the unique shape, and allowing visitors to walk under her revolutionary hull. A new supporting steel structure cradles the lifted ship’s hull and incorporates an elevated walkway which takes visitors from ground level into the Cutty Sark’s hold deck. An enveloping glass canopy, attached along the ship’s waterline, gives year-round protection to visitors in the dry berth.

Specialist conservation work has addressed the critical physical condition of the ship through a combination of electrolysis, mechanical cleaning, and preventative coatings. The fully accessible interior is presented in its original, cargo-carrying form, allowing visitors to explore the restored decks and crew accommodation. The ship’s rich and varied history is told on the ‘tween deck (the middle of the three decks) through interactive exhibits designed by Designmap. Click through to see pictures of the restored ship:



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