£80m plan to create new London Design Museum

Aaron Morby 12 years ago
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The Design Museum in London has revealed plans to move to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, in the west of the city.

Designs for the site have been produced by two of the world’s most innovative architectural practices and will lead to a £80m revamp of the iconic Grade 2* listed building.

John Pawson has redesigned the interior and OMA has planned the surrounding residential development.

The new building will open to the public in 2014, giving the Design Museum three times more space to showcase its unique collection , which is hoped to draw in 500,000 visitors a year.

The 1960s Commonwealth Institute building, constructed by Laing, has lain dormant for over a decade.

Its refurbishment will give a neglected London icon a new life and purpose and will revitalise an important area of West London.

The design team for the new project has been assisted by Lord Cunliffe, a leading member of the original architectural team for the Commonwealth Institute in 1958, and by James Sutherland, the building’s original structural engineer.

The Design Museum fundraising target is £45m of which it has secured more than 60% through the support of a number of individuals and trusts and foundations.

John Pawson, architect, said: ‘The most exciting thing about the project is that, at the end of it all, London will have a world-class museum of design, with galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions, education spaces and a library.

“There is particularly nice symbolism in the fact that in making this legacy for future generations, we are saving a work of iconic architecture. I hope the result will demonstrate that you don’t need to demolish old buildings to make wonderful new public space.

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