Roman Town House
The Roman Town House, Colliton Park, Dorchester
An award-winning conservation project
Discovered by archaeologists in 1937, Dorchester’s Roman Town House was built in the 4th century and is the only fully exposed example in the country . The house contains a hypocaust, or underfloor heating system, and amazing decorative mosaics.
We were appointed by Dorset County Council to design a new cover building to protect and conserve the remains of the Roman Town House. Our solution is a lightweight glazed steel structure built off the surviving flint walls. This structure suggests the size and shape of the original buildings, whilst at the same time allowing an unrestricted view of the mosaic floors and hypocaust. The steel frame supports a green oak roof structure which is finished in hand dressed Purbeck stone slates. These match examples found on site when the remains were first discovered in the 1930s.
The project won the Dorset Archaeological award in 2000 and we were subsequently appointed to improve accessibility and interpretation, including ramped access, signage and lighting. This included a ‘gobo’, or template, to project missing parts of the mosaic design onto the floor.