Royal Air Force Museum

RAF Museum Restaurant

As part of our work on the RAF Museum masterplan, and across the museum field from the entrance, we restored and refurbished a 1930's 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

This 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 to the outside of the building involved replacement of 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 is of spaciousness.  Light floods in through skylights in the restored roof and tall windows on all sides.  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
Alan DempseyRowan MorriceKeti CarapuliKwon Jung
Alan Williams
Landscape Architecture — Agence Ter Project Management + Cost — Ridge Structural Engineering — Techniker Services Engineering — E+M Technica Lighting — DHA Design