Date of this Version
The remains of Hadrian’s Wall constitute the greatest Roman frontier in all of Europe. The stones left behind tell the story of Roman Britain, and provide the physical evidence of one of Rome’s greatest engineering triumphs. Despite this, visitation to the wall has been falling over the past thirty years. The numerous museums that exist along the wall are not linked with each other and are operated independently—a fact that leads to a spirit of competition rather than cooperation. The exhibits at the museums themselves typically focus on archeological finds at their respective sites, rather than the stories behind them. These weaknesses and others lead the British tourism agencies in charge of the region to commission a study that was released in 2004 on the current state of the Wall. In addition, the study formulated a 100 million dollar development plan to revitalize the Wall. My terminal project will be set within the context of this Major Study.
While the adopted development plan sets forth numerous changes in the Wall’s infrastructure and organization, it is held together by one major need: a focal point. A common complaint from visitors to the Wall was its lack of a major access point. To rectify this, the plan calls for a major “Story Centre” and transportation hub. This building would provide the back story for Hadrian’s Wall—focusing on the big picture rather than one specific location. Visitors would pay one fee for access to the museums along the Wall and the new transportation network would take them to the individual sites they desired to see. People would have a much better idea of the significance of the Wall in its entirety, and would still visit the important locations along the Wall, all while minimizing the impact of large numbers of vehicles traveling to the sites.