on november 24, 2016, london’s design museum will reopen to the public. following a long search to expand its activities and programs, the institution selected a former 1960s building on kensington high street as its new home. the landmark structure is a grade II* listed building that had remained vacant for over a decade. OMA was responsible for the site’s overall masterplan, and — in conjunction with allies and morrison — also the exterior of the existing commonwealth institute building. the project’s interior architecture was led by john pawson.

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photograph by luke hayes, courtesy of OMA
(main photograph by philip vile, courtesy of chelsfield developments (kensington) ltd.)

 

 

OMA and allies and morrison carried out a series of complex refurbishment works, including the wholesale reconfiguration of the structure and basement excavation in order increase floor area and organizational efficiency. the renovation of the design museum was realized while retaining the distinctive parabolic copper roof in-situ, with engineering support from arup and contractor mace.

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the existing structure has been completely refurbished
photograph by nick guttridge, courtesy of allies and morrison

 

 

the building’s façades have been replaced to fulfill contemporary technical building standards, with the glazing retaining the blue-glass appearance of the original structure. the new system allows controlled daylight to enter, while ensuring external views. meanwhile, original stained glass panels were removed, refurbished, and reinstated. the building’s setting has been designed alongside landscape architects west 8. the opening of the museum follows the completion of three residential buildings also designed by OMA and allies and morrison.

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the scheme will increase floor area and improve organizational efficiency
photograph by nick guttridge, courtesy of allies and morrison

design-museum-london-commonwealth-institute-oma-john-pawson-designboom-02
the renovation of the museum was realized while retaining the distinctive parabolic roof
photograph by philip vile, courtesy of chelsfield developments (kensington) ltd.

design-museum-london-commonwealth-institute-oma-john-pawson-designboom-02
façades have been replaced to fulfill contemporary technical building standards
photograph by philip vile, courtesy of chelsfield developments (kensington) ltd.

design-museum-london-commonwealth-institute-oma-john-pawson-designboom-02
a new system allows controlled daylight to enter
photograph by philip vile, courtesy of chelsfield developments (kensington) ltd.

design-museum-london-commonwealth-institute-oma-john-pawson-designboom-02
external views are provided across the surrounding landscape
photograph by philip vile, courtesy of chelsfield developments (kensington) ltd.

design-museum-london-commonwealth-institute-oma-john-pawson-designboom-02
three neighboring residential buildings have also designed by OMA and allies and morrison
photograph by sebastian van damme, courtesy of OMA

design-museum-london-commonwealth-institute-oma-john-pawson-designboom-02
the design museum will reopen to the public on november 24, 2016
photograph by luke hayes, courtesy of OMA

 

 

project info:

 

name: the design museum, london
project: redevelopment of the grade II* listed commonwealth institute
status: completed
client: chelsfield with ilchester estates and the design museum
year: 2008-2016
site: kensington high street, holland park, london
program: museum / gallery
area: 110,000 sqf / 10,219 sqm
footprint: 29,000 sqf / 2,694 sqm
facades/ external envelope/ structure/ landscape: OMA and allies and morrison with arup engineering and west 8 landscape architects
structure/ core / building envelope: chelsfield with mace
interior architecture: john pawson

 

OMA
partner in charge: reinier de graaf
director: carol patterson
project architects: mario rodriguez, isabel silva, fenna wagenaar, mitesh dixit, richard hollington III, beth hughes
team: caroline andersen, luis arencibia, fred awty, olga banchikova, thibaut barrault, rachel bate, thorben bazlen, katrin betschinger, philippe braun, matthew brown, kees van casteren, maria cogliani, tudor costachescu, johan dehlin, sebastien delagrange, miles gertler, hannes gutberlet, joyce hsiang, yerin kang, bin kim, andrew kovacs, caroline martin, roza matveeva, andres mendoza, ioana mititelu, barbara modolo, ross o’connell, adrian phiffer, alex rodriguez, duarte santo, lawrence siu, ivan valdez, boris vapne, greg r. williams, xu yang, delnaz yekrangian, nikos yiatros

 

allies and morrison
partners: simon fraser, robert maxwell
director: neil shaughnessy
associate directors: joel davenport, heidi shah
associates: sean joyce, johanna coste-buscayret
team: irina bardakhanova, ozlem balicadag, dinka beglerbegovic, thomas cartledge, ignacio diaz-maurino jimenez, owen jowett, iris hoffman, ines kramer, ioana mititelu, sophie nicholaou, fabiana paluszny, duarte santo, tom see hoo, mike slade, janina vetriest, stuart thomson

 

collaborators
contractor: mace
structural engineer: arup structures
services engineer: arup services
facades: arup facades; FMDC
fire: arup fire
acoustics: arup acoustics
landscape: west8
quantity surveyor: aecom

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