In 1982, more than four hundred years after she mysteriously sank off the English coastline, Henry VIII's great warship the Mary Rose was raised to the surface. The extraordinarily intact ship was towed to a dry dock in the beautiful and historic harbor at Portsmouth, where she lies today, an enduring symbol of Britain's seafaring past.
In January 1991, the internationally acclaimed architect Christopher Alexander was commissioned by the Mary Rose Trust to design a museum to house this national treasure. Grounded in his techniques and principles for a new way of building that have earned Alexander a worldwide following over the last two decades, this book explains Alexander's vision of a permanent home for the Mary Rose. Spanning from the first inception of its design to finished models and drawings, it includes detailed, step by step explanations of the way this vision could be realized in structure and construction. Emphasizing the unification of design and construction, with hands on construction management by the architect, it provides a model for the way a large and highly technical building can be designed with proper importance given to human comfort and human feeling, while using the most advanced and sophisticated technology.
Published here for the first time are the revolutionary construction management contracts for construction developed by Alexander and his associate Gary Black and their colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure. Also of keen interest to professionals are the more than 100 drawings and photographs of the distinctive lattice arches that were first introduced by Alexander and Black in a smaller building in San Jose, California, and are a central part of Alexander's vision for the finished museum.
To the half a million visitors who flock to see the Mary Rose each year, she is an opportunity to touch the past. To Alexander, the great ship is a touchstone for the architecture of the future. His vision of a new age in which respect for nature and the integrity of the past go hand in hand with advances in technology will inspire architects, engineers, builders, museum professionals, and anyone who cares about the design and construction of the great public buildings of the next century. Richly illustrated, and offering a wealth of conceptual, technical, and practical information, this volume is a most remarkable reference and guide.