A new archive and memorial to commemorate the Bath Blitz of 1942
Mark Wray Architects were runners-up in the 2015 RIBA South West Competition 'Imagine Bath', a call for new ideas for the historic city. Our submission focused on the 75th Anniversary of the Bath Blitz. In 1942 wartime air raids on the City resulted in the death of 417 residents and visitors. 1,200 buildings were also seriously damaged or destroyed but little physical evidence of the raids now exists.
Our proposal was two-fold. First, a temporary act of remembrance on the anniversary of the attack, where we proposed that every tower and spire within the city would be illuminated, alongside light shafts projected from the four locations where church spires were lost as a result of the raids. The second, and focal point of the commemoration, would be the new Bath ARC (Archive and Records Collection).
Located on the site of St Andrew’s Church behind the Royal Crescent, the ARC would provide a living memorial of the City’s past and move the Council’s Record Office into purpose made appropriate accommodation. The design would provide study rooms, exhibition space and a cafe arranged around a central courtyard. The archives would be stored below ground to benefit the more stable environmental conditions and reduce the scale of the building. A new public space would also be created to encourage foot fall and encourage visitors and residents to explore other museums in the area via a new built heritage trail.