Jodrell Bank’s spectacular new First Light Pavilion and permanent exhibition gallery, which opened in June 2022, has continued to win awards since its launch, with the latest being top honours at the prestigious Civic Trust Awards ceremony in London on, for the architecture of the building itself.
The Pavilion, which sits under a grass-covered dome, is oriented due south, with a ’meridian line’ window set in its fašade, which acts like an internal sundial inside the building entrance hall. The dome size is the same as the diameter of the dish of the iconic Lovell Telescope (76metres).
The judges said: "A wonderful project, ambitiously created and beautifully delivered. It manages to complement the mighty and instantly recognisable landmark of the Lovell Telescope and offer a scientific experience accessible to all."
Inside the First Light Pavilion, visitors will find a new permanent exhibition ’The Story of Jodrell Bank’ which was awarded the ’Exhibiting Excellence’ Large Exhibition prize by the British Society for the History of Science.
This prize recognises excellence in public exhibitions that address topics in the history of science, history of technology or history of medicine.
The judges praised the way that the exhibition had worked with existing projects, such as the Tactile Universe, that provide accessible science communication. They said that the exhibition structure of short ’chapters’ offered visitors a range of different ways to engage with the stories being told. In particular, they praised the integration of the panels of the original surface of the Lovell Telescope into the exhibition, and the way that the architecture of the building itself was also used to express the narrative.