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Gainsborough’s House Museum, in Sudbury, named Building of the Year in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) East Awards





The birthplace of a renowned artist whose house was turned into a museum has won a major award following an expansion.

Gainsborough’s House Museum, in Sudbury, was named as the Building of the Year in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) East Awards.

The building, which was home to Thomas Gainsborough in the 18th century, opened as a museum more than 50 years ago.

Gainsborough's House Museum was named winner of Building of the Year in the Royal Institute of the British Architects' (RIBA) East Awards. Picture: Mark Westley
Gainsborough's House Museum was named winner of Building of the Year in the Royal Institute of the British Architects' (RIBA) East Awards. Picture: Mark Westley

In November 2022, the Grade I-listed site reopened after a major expansion project.

A new three-storey gallery building was created, giving greater and more modern space to display the larger art works.

Calvin Winner, museum director, said: “It’s fantastic news for Sudbury and Suffolk. The recognition is so wonderful and it will really allow us to take our activity to the next level – it’s very exciting.

“I hope it will bring a sense of pride to people. It’s a museum that celebrates one of the country’s greatest artist.

“Thomas Gainsborough is an iconic figure in British art and it’s something I certainly want people in Suffolk to feel proud of.

“We now have facilities to really expand what we do and to really make the museum a national centre.

“It’s a huge achievement for the team at Gainsborough and the architects.”

The RIBA jury said it was impressed to see a significant regional and national museum emerge from the adaptation of what was previously a small, local resource.

The jury also said the Gainsborough’s House has undertaken careful and critical conservation that reflected a deep commitment to maintaining historical integrity.

“As a whole, the project stands as a model for harmonising heritage preservation and contemporary needs, and showcases creative repair and conservation, adaptive reuse of historic structures, and comprehensive refurbishment and regeneration efforts,” it added.