The Britten Pears Archive is the largest collection and display dedicated to the composer Benjamin Britten and singer Peter Pears. It was built as an addition to the Red House, where they both lived and worked.
The environmental design for the Archive was developed by Max Fordham in close collaboration with the Britten Pears Foundation and Stanton Williams Architects.
This sustainable archive building houses the extensive collection of music manuscripts, letters, photographs and recordings of both musicians, within two strong rooms.
The Archive is conceived as an 'egg-in-a-box'. This allows the two strong rooms to be cocooned by a buffer space which protects it from the weather and stabilises the internal environment. On hot days, the outer shell shields the strong room from direct solar light. The buffer zone between the two structures provides additional protection by allowing heat to exhaust through ventilation openings.
The project received a BREEAM 'Excellent' Rating under the BREEAM Bespoke 2008 scheme.