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Designs revealed for Museum of London’s new West Smithfield home
United Kingdom Architecture News - Jul 03, 2019 - 00:15 13466 views
The Museum of London has revealed plans to transform a campus of dilapidated market buildings in West Smithfield into a world-class cultural venue, with content-rich displays set inside atmospheric exhibition spaces.
The new plans, described as "one of the biggest cultural projects underway in Europe", will define the future of the West Smithfield and celebrate the historic buildings of West Smithfield, while creating a unique and memorable visitor experience. The museum is set to become a Top 10 London attraction, capable of welcoming over two million people a year.
Image © Forbes Massie
The designs are now on display within the currently derelict West Smithfield site from Friday 5 July, as well as at the Museum of London’s existing London Wall site.
Visitors will be able to see and comment on the latest plans and ambitions for one of the biggest cultural projects underway in Europe, including how the design team, led by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan with Julian Harrap Architects, have celebrated the architecture of the West Smithfield buildings, which are in desperate need of repair and renewal.
General view from market, ground floor. Image © Asif Khan
The exhibitions inside would display more of the museum’s amazing collection – showcasing everything from fashion to fatbergs – and would be set inside atmospheric spaces, making use of the historic buildings both above and below the ground.
The plans would also see the museum become a world-class centre for learning and able to fulfil the museum’s ambitions to reach every London school child and enhance their learning experience. In addition and reflecting the 24-hour Farringdon location, the museum will increase its night-time offer, playing a major role in the capital’s night-time economy.
New sculpture in General Market. Image © Asif Khan
"This spectacular new home for the Museum of London will cement its place as one of our city’s cultural gems and open up the museum at all times of the day. It is a landmark project that will reveal the fascinating history of our city to millions of Londoners and visitors to the capital every year," said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The Museum of London has set its budget of £332m for the new museum. "This responds to the detailed studies on the historic buildings, which date back to the 19th Century, and the increased investment needed to bring them back into use, as well as the design solutions required to adapt them into a world-class museum," stated The Museum of London.
Paleobotanical restaurant. Image © Asif Khan
"Working together as a team - Stanton Williams and Asif Khan with Julian Harrap Architects – have been entrusted with one of the biggest projects of cultural reimagining in London – transforming the historically charged but derelict parts of the late 19th century West Smithfield market into a living museum for the 21st century," said Paul Williams OBE, Principal Director at Stanton Williams.
"In its new home at West Smithfield, the Museum of London will be an anchor for Culture Mile, a major initiative that will create a vibrant destination for culture and creativity at the heart of the city."
Museum, restaurant at night. Image © Asif Khan
The Museum of London has already secured a significant amount of funding for the project, including £192m from the City of London Corporation and a capped contribution of £70m from the Mayor of London.
Image © Forbes Massie
The museum has a fundraising target of £70m and has already raised £26.5m, leaving a further £44m to raise. This includes generous donations of £10m from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and their affiliated Charity, £10m from the Linbury Trust and £5m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Global law firm, DLA Piper, is the project’s inaugural Corporate Champion.
Image © Forbes Massie
The Museum of London will submit a planning application by the end of 2019. The museum is expected to be opened in 2024. Once complete, the new museum would become an integral part of Culture Mile, a partnership led by the City of London Corporation with the Barbican Centre, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of London.
Image © Asif Khan
Interior of the Poultry Market. Image © Forbes Massie
View along West Smithfield with Annexe. Image © Forbes Massie
Exterior of General Market along West Smithfield. Image © Forbes Massie
Top image: View from the General Market from West Smithfield. Image © Asif Khan
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