Royal Air Force Museum

RAF Museum Restaurant

As part of our work on the RAF Museum master plan and across the museum field from the entrance, we restored and refurbished a 1930s RAF supplies building to create a spacious 170-seat restaurant.


2019 Civic Trust Awards Regional Finalist
2019 Museum & Heritage Awards: Partnership of the Year, Highly Commended

The renovation has transformed the Museum’s catering offer, allowing the attraction to appeal to new visitors and increase museum revenue. Bringing the previously derelict building back into use was welcomed by Historic England and a key factor in attracting HLF funding for the redevelopment programme.

Work on the outside of the building involved replacing the roof, windows, and doors and local repairs to original brickwork. To the front of the building, a former loading bay is now a large glazed window signifying the restaurant to visitors from afar.

Inside, intermediate walls have been removed to create an immediate sense of spaciousness, and light floods in through the surrounding tall windows and skylights in the restored roof. The original brick walls and steel roof trusses were carefully restored and complemented with new stained ash wood panelling and banquet seating. Conceptually, a graphic horizon line defines the space further as a dado, with a clean, airy impression above and a durable tangle of activity below, set against a rich RAF blue.

By incorporating many of the building’s original features, we retained the building’s historic character, even recreating the building’s dilapidated timber office booths to form intimate and private spaces within the otherwise large open-plan dining space.

"Through Nex’s sensitive and ambitious approach, we have been able to deliver our vision for a world-class museum for all. The new masterplan and two imaginatively transformed buildings showcase this area’s proud aviation history while opening up our site to reconnect with our local community"

Maggie Appleton MBE, Chief Executive Officer, RAF Museum

An overflow dining room, lined in rough-sawn oak boards, is used for local community events, coach parties, or other private functions. An outdoor terrace further enlivens the museum’s wider landscape.

"Nex worked with us as both Client Advisors and Architects - playing an instrumental role in two successful HLF funding applications. Challenging us in the potential of our indoor space, the final scheme includes two imaginatively restored and transformed buildings that form the centrepiece of our site. "

Rebecca Dalley, Centenary Programme Manager, RAF Museum

RAF Museum Restaurant
Royal Air Force Museum
September 2018
London, UK
£2.3 Million
Alan DempseyRowan MorriceKeti CarapuliKwon Jung
Alan Williams
Landscape Architect: Agence Ter Project Manager and Cost Consultant: Ridge Structural Engineer: Techniker Services Engineer: E+M Technica Lighting: DHA Design