Michael Barclay Partnership /

A new museum to conserve & house historic aircraft together with a visitor attraction with themed exhibitions. The brief required the protection of as many aircraft as possible in a building of architectural merit.


A number of constructional forms and materials were examined to determine the most efficient and economic structure. Early studies included looking at cable and truss supported fabrics and inflated foils. The adopted solution responds, among other things, to the site, long spans and the desire to maximise the number of aircraft that are accommodated.


The building is split along its spine by a dramatic wall, a device that addresses the change in level across the site and acts as a symbolic referent to the Cold War which is the principal theme for the museum. The wall is structured by a series of steel frames at regular centres and supports steel trusses that form the structure to the roof.


The approximate display areas cover 6320m² with a further 763m² for ancillary use.


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Royal Air Force Museum, Cosford /

Millennium Seed Bank, Kew /

Millennium Seed Bank, Kew

The Millennium Seed Bank project is one of the largest international conservation projects ever undertaken. The aim is to secure the future of almost all the UK's native flowering plants as well as helping to safeguard 24,000 species of dryland plants from around the world. Seeds are stored in specially designed underground vaults.

Research laboratories and public areas are located above ground with teaching and academic accommodation grouped around a sunken courtyard.


Our commission included the provision of all structural and civil engineering services. The latter was particularly important as the building is cut into the landscape and involved extensive re-modelling of the site.


The roof structures are concrete cylindrical shells spanning between columns to provide uninterrupted clear spans of 14.4m.Funded by the Millennium Commission the project has been designated as a "Landmark project".


Michael Barclay Partnership was formed in 1974 to provide a structural engineering design service. It converted to a Limited Liability Partnership in 2007.


Since its formation the practice has completed over 4000 commissions in this country and abroad. These commissions have been very diverse and include work for major private and public sector clients. Our experience is extensive and ranges from the construction of large inner-city mixed developments to the repair and maintenance of historic structures. We have designed structures with a variety of structural forms, using a wide range of materials and construction techniques in many different contexts. This mix of work means that the practice has good experience of meeting many different kinds of engineering challenges. We emphasise this breadth of experience because it helps us to give our clients the best and most appropriate solutions to meet their particular needs.


At the heart of the firm’s culture is a strong public service commitment and it is our aim to produce elegant, economic and environmentally friendly engineering solutions to meet the needs of our clients. We believe that this is best achieved by close collaboration with the client, members of the design team and contractors. Clear priorities and objectives are crucial to developing the best designs and we place an emphasis on establishing these at the outset of a commission. We always aim to anticipate rather than react to events. Clear office policies and procedures and the close involvement of a principal in every project maintain the quality of our service. Each job is reviewed at set stages in its development for technical content and monitored against programme and budget.



105 - 109 Strand




tel 20 7240 1191

email london@mbp-uk.com



 St George's Church, London