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Buro Four appointed to deliver new home for the Museum of London

Delighted to be leading the project team to help create and deliver a new home for the Museum of London

Image © Stanton Williams
Image © Stanton Williams
Image © Stanton Williams
Image © Stanton Williams

Thursday 6 October 2016

We are delighted to be working with the Museum of London to help create and deliver a new home for the museum at West Smithfield.

Over the past 30 years, Buro Four has developed a strong understanding of institutions such as the Museum of London. These relationships have led to the successful delivery of projects for clients such as the National Theatre, the Old Vic Theatre Trust, RADA and most recently the Royal Academy of Arts and the British Museum. 

The exciting project has a £130-150m construction budget and is focused on housing the Museum of London within a group of heritage buildings on the historic West Smithfield site. This will enable the Museum of London to welcome more visitors and display many more objects.

The new museum will be designed by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan, working together with conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultants J&L Gibbons, the new scheme will enable the Museum of London to engage more Londoners with their city and its history, giving them exciting new ways to participate as citizens of arguably the world’s most global of cities. The richness of the 6 million plus collection will be displayed, with many objects on show for the first time.

The new Museum of London in West Smithfield will be at the heart of a new cultural hub in the City of London with outstanding connections to the rest of London and the world thanks to the much-anticipated Crossrail interchange at Farringdon. Through its evocative buildings, its compelling programmes and outstanding collections, the museum aims to become one of London’s top five most visited museums.

The exciting early stage concept for the new Museum of London balances a crisp and contemporary design with a strong recognition of the physicality and power of the existing spaces of the West Smithfield site. It includes:

  • A new lifted landmark dome which would create a beautiful light-filled entrance to the museum;
  • Innovative spiral escalators transporting visitors down to the exhibition galleries in a vast excavated underground chamber;
  • Flexible spaces that can serve as a new meeting place for London and a centre for events and debate;
  • A new sunken garden and green spaces to provide pockets of tranquillity.

David Spence, Director of Transformation at the Museum of London, said “The construction of the new Museum of London is unparalleled in the UK in its complexity. Therefore it is crucial to work with a skilled project management firm capable of meeting the challenge ahead. Through a rigorous procurement process, Buro Four proved that they had the right skills for the job and it is a pleasure to have them on board.”

Iain Roberts, Director and Chairman of Buro Four said “Great cities deserve great museum, and London, one of the greatest cities in the world, deserves a truly world class setting in which to tell its own story. We are absolutely delighted to be part of such an iconic project for the London community and cannot wait to get started”.

The museum intends to submit a planning application for the West Smithfield site to the City of London Corporation in 2018 and to deliver the new museum by 2022.