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Plans for the New Design Museum Revealed


London’s Design Museum has unveiled plans to create the world’s leading museum of design and architecture at the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington. Designs for the site have been produced by two of the world’s most innovative architectural practices: John Pawson has redesigned the interior of the Grade 2* listed building and OMA has planned the surrounding residential development.

The move will allow the new Design Museum to become a word class centre for design, nurturing British talent and its international influence on design of all kinds. It will bring the museum into Kensington’s cultural quarter, where it will join the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal College of Art and Serpentine Gallery, creating a platform for the promotion and support of the next generation of creative talent.

The new building will open to the public in 2014, giving the Design Museum three times more space to showcase its unique collection. The museum aims to double its visitor numbers to 500,000 a year, and will greatly expand its education and public events programme with state of the art facilities.

The 1960s Commonwealth Institute building 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. In July 2010 the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea granted planning permission to Chelsfield Partners and the IIchester Estate to modify the Grade 2* listed building and for a residential development. 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 new Design Museum, which is an £80 million project, will open in 2014. See Director of the Design Museum, Deyan Sudjic, speak in the video below about his ambitions for the next stage in the Design Museum’s development:

Image above by Alex Morris Visualisation for John Pawson Ltd.