Luigi Micheletti Award

Luigi Micheletti Award 2007 Winner
Brunelís ss Great Britain - Bristol (United Kingdom)

Brunel’s ss Great Britain is the world’s first great ocean liner. Launched in 1843 to provide luxury travel to New York, the iron-hulled steamship revolutionised travel and set new standards in engineering, reliability and speed. Designed by the UK’s great engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the ship also had a successful career as an emigrant clipper, troop transport, and cargo ship.

Today Brunel’s ss Great Britain is one of Europe’s most exciting museums and visitor attractions. Technological innovation, inspirational design and some truly revolutionary features were key to the ship’s early success, and remain essential to her ongoing conservation in the 21st century.

National and international awards received to date recognise contribution to heritage, conservation, education, access and tourism, as well as architecture. In 2007 Brunel’s ss Great Britain, in Bristol, was awarded the ‘Micheletti Prize’. Other prestigious awards have included the Gulbenkian Prize for ‘museum of the year 2006, Enjoy England’s ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2007’, and USA Society of History of Technology Dibner Award 2007 for ‘outstanding museum work’.

Visitors descend under the glass ‘sea’, to inspect the ship’s magnificent hull and the state-of-the-art dehumidification system protecting her for the next 100 years. They step back in time in the new Dockyard Museum, to discover the true story behind the people who travelled and worked on board. Massive interactive displays put nautical skills to the test as visitors are invited to steer the ship on a westerly course, to climb the maintop, and prepare for sail!

On board visitors explore the beautifully recreated spaces – from the First Class Dining Saloon and Promenade Deck, to the Engine Room, with its massive three-storey turning machinery, and Steerage. Passengers’ and crew members’ stories are retold through a choice of audio companion tours, including French and German. The smell of newly baked bread, musty travellers, a smoky engine room and even vomit help bring the 19th century onboard experience alive.

Special events include children’s drama and craft workshops to sumptuous Victorian banquets. Brunel’s ss Great Britain also welcomes more than 16,000 schoolchildren from across England and Europe.

The impact of the Luigi Micheletti Award
The Micheletti Award underlines the international importance of the work undertaken, and what has been achieved, in conserving the ss Great Britain and putting her on public display. Our approach of using the ship’s dry dock as a giant dehumidification chamber and a glass waterline plate covered with a thin layer of water as its roof is a world-first. The ss Great Britain Trust has been overwhelmed by the positive response of judges and the visiting public. Visitors are coming from across Europe – we know of one Milanese who recently flew to Bristol for a day to just see the ship!

Brunelís ss Great Britain
Brunelís ss Great Britain
Brunelís ss Great Britain
Brunelís ss Great Britain
Brunelís ss Great Britain
Brunelís ss Great Britain

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