Museum and Heritage Awards 2019 – shortlisted
European Museum of the Year Awards 2019 – nominated
AJ Retrofit Awards 2019 - Cultural Buildings under £5 million category – shortlisted
LABC South East Building Excellence Awards 2019 - Best Public Service Building Category - highly commended

Portsmouth City Council appointed Hampshire County Council’s (HCC) Property Services to regenerate the formerly known D-Day Museum ahead of D-Day’s 75th anniversary.

Following a £5m refurbishment, the newly named ‘The D-Day Story’ officially opened in Southsea in 2018. The project was supported by a £4 million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help transform the exhibition halls and create a captivating interpretation of the D-Day story.

The 1980’s architecture was revealed to expose the large circular exhibition hall. The new exhibition hall features powerful personal accounts from various D-Day experiences and contains momentous artefacts including the pencil that was used to start the invasion.

Location: Southsea, Portsmouth
Client: Portsmouth City Council
Value: £4.8m
Completed: May 2018
Main contractor: Pilbeam Construction
Specialist teams: Hampshire County Council (HCC) Architects and Interior Designers, Studio MB, UBU Design and Proposals developed in consultation with Heritage Lottery Fund

D-Day Story, Southsea, Portsmouth

In addition to the variations and refurbishments throughout the premises, the project also included the conservation of key artefacts. In addition, the upgraded building fabric was carefully selected to improve environmental control, supporting the long-term conservation of the Museum’s collection.

Relocating the cafe has created educational and newly refurbished exhibition spaces. This new space now allows the exhibition to host events, including annual conferences, theatrical performance and walking tours.

The success of this project means visitors, veterans and families can share and enjoy compelling personal stories of the invasion.

Our concept was to open up the heart of the building to create a concourse that offers a welcoming hub of activity and improves visitor orientation. This new foyer links the refurbished exhibition spaces together and strengthens the museum’s connection with its re landscaped forecourt and the Ancient Monument of Southsea Castle.
- Laura Jarman, Architect, Heritage Team HCC
D-Day Story, Southsea, Portsmouth
D-Day Story, Southsea, Portsmouth
D-Day Story, Southsea, Portsmouth

Key Benefits:

  • Improved the visitor experience through successfully communicating stories in a fresh and interesting way
  • Additional educational and exhibition spaces for visitors, families and veterans to enjoy
  • Environmental control supports the long-term conservation of the museum’s collection.