July 2016 Update: The new design has been chosen!
The Museum of London has revealed the six design concepts for the new museum at West Smithfield. There’s a public exhibition at the Museum of London from 10 June to 11 September so you can see the designs and leave comments.
The new museum, which has a £130-150m construction budget, will secure the future of a series of much-loved heritage buildings at West Smithfield, help regenerate this historic part of the City of London and relaunch the museum, which has seen its audiences soar in recent years.
The Museum of London has outgrown its current building, currently attracting one million visitors per year. This number is set to grow and so the move to West Smithfield would allow the museum to double the number of visitors it welcomes and finally be able to show never-before-seen artefacts from its rich collection, which are currently sat in storage due to space constraints.
The site at West Smithfield is located in the City of London and covers approximately 25,000 sq m. It comprises the vacant Smithfield General Market, the vacant Fish Market, the Red House, Iron Mountain, the Engine House and other elements. These buildings, most of which are Victorian, sit at the Farringdon Road end of West Smithfield, where records show there has been a market for nearly 1,000 years and archaeological remains go back to the Bronze Age.
The vision for the site is to bring these buildings back into sensitive and active use to tell Londoners and visitors to the capital about their city, their history and their lives as well as showcasing finds from the largest archaeological archive in the world.
The design competition is funded by a £200,000 grant from the Mayor of London and Malcolm Reading Consultants were appointed to manage the competition in January 2016. You can find out more at: competitions.malcolmreading.co.uk/museumoflondon
The early-stage design concepts, which illustrate what the new museum could look like, embrace a wide range of interpretations, all of which demonstrate high quality, creative ideas and innovation for this exciting project.
The shortlisted entries will be judged by a panel of well-known figures from the worlds of the arts, media, property, architecture and business, including Sir Simon Jenkins, chaired by television and radio presenter, Evan Davis.
A winner will be announced in summer 2016. The aim is to submit planning permission to the City of London Corporation in 2017, raise the necessary capital funds and deliver the new museum in 2021.
The winning architects will work with the museum to refine their ideas to ensure they sensitively balance the history of the site with the museum’s ambition and that the look and feel of the new museum embodies London.
The six shortlisted architects are:
- BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (DK) with Hawkins/Brown, Donald Insall and Gehl Architects
- Caruso St John Architects (UK) with Alan Baxter Associates
- Diener & Diener Architekten (CH) with Sergison Bates Architects, East Architecture and Graphic Thought Facility
- Lacaton & Vassal Architects (FR) with Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, Allies and Morrison and Alan Baxter Associates
- Stanton Williams (UK) with Asif Khan, Julian Harrap, J&L Gibbons and Plan A
- Studio Milou architecture (FR) with RL& Associés, Axis Architects and Alan Baxter Associates
Which is our favourite design?