Attractions industry news

28 Jul 2016

Architects chosen for landmark new Museum of London

Stanton Williams and Asif Khan have triumphed over a number of architectural heavyweights, winning a competition to design the Museum of London’s new home at Smithfield.

The architectural duo overcame competition from firms including Bjarke Ingels, Caruso St John Architects and Studio Milou with their winning proposal, which will lift the dome on the market area to create a landmark light-filled entrance to the museum.

Malcolm Reading Consultants handled the competition, which attracted more than 70 entries.

Williams and Khan will work together with conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultants J&L Gibbons on the project, which also will feature spiral escalators leading down to a vast excavated underground chamber, flexible meeting spaces, a sunken garden and green spaces.

“Over the coming months we will work together to design a new museum for London and Londoners which will be one of the top visitor attractions in the capital,” said Sharon Ament, director of the Museum of London. “Our project sparked the imagination of truly remarkable architects whose hard work and talent produced astounding submissions. The Stanton Williams and Asif Khan partnership is a scintillating combination.”

The museum announced plans to relocate in March 2015, with management citing a number of problems at its current site including difficult accessibility, an ageing building and a poor location.

The Museum of London was given the green light to move to Smithfield Market in January this year after redevelopment plans for the historic site were abandoned. A planning application still needs to be submitted, with the museum presenting its designs to the City of London Corporation in 2018 and delivering the new museum by 2022.

Visitor figures at the Museum of London have more than doubled in recent years and continue to grow. The move is expected to create an additional 5,000sq ft (464.5sq m) of space, with the aim of reaching two million visitors per year. The cost of the move is estimated to be in the region of £70m (US$101.7m, €93.7m).

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