Design concepts for new museum at West Smithfield revealed

9 June 2016

  • Six inspiring entries from architectural teams shortlisted for West Smithfield International Design Competition
  • Concepts to go on display at public exhibition from 10 June to 5 August
  • Winner to be announced later this summer

The Museum of London has today revealed the design concepts from the six architectural teams shortlisted in the international design competition for the new museum at West Smithfield. The site includes Smithfield General Market, the Fish Market, the Red House and the Engine House.

The early stage design concepts, which illustrate what the new museum could look like, embrace a wide range of interpretations, all of which demonstrate high quality, creative ideas and innovation for this exciting project. The winning architects will work with the museum to refine their ideas to ensure they sensitively balance the history of the site with the museum’s ambition and that the look and feel of the new museum embodies London.

Design concepts have been submitted by:

  • BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (DK) with Hawkins\Brown, Donald Insall and Gehl Architects
  • Caruso St John Architects (UK) with Alan Baxter Associates
  • Diener & Diener Architekten (CH) with Sergison Bates Architects, East Architecture and Graphic Thought Facility
  • Lacaton & Vassal Architects (FR) with Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, Allies and Morrison and Alan Baxter Associates
  • Stanton Williams (UK) with Asif Khan, Julian Harrap, J&L Gibbons and Plan A
  • studio Milou architecture (FR) with RL& Associés, Axis Architects and Alan Baxter Associates

The designs will now go on display at an exhibition at the Museum of London, from

10 June to 5 August, 10am – 6pm daily, to give the public an opportunity to view the designs and learn more about the museum’s plans to move to West Smithfield.

The shortlisted entries will be judged by a panel of well-known figures from the worlds of the arts, media, property, architecture and business, chaired by television and radio presenter, Evan Davis. The winning team is expected to be announced later this summer, following ratification from the Museum of London’s Board of Governors.

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said:

“Every time I visit Smithfield I come away buzzing with ideas and the energy of the place. It is clear from their concepts for a new museum that the architectural teams have been equally captivated by Smithfield’s vivid history and vibrant character. These six concepts which suggest a fascinating range of options will give the jury plenty to consider when deciding upon an architect to work with us to design the new museum.”

The Museum of London has outgrown its current building, currently attracting one million visitors per year. This number is set to grow and so the move to West Smithfield would allow the museum to double the number of visitors it welcomes and finally be able to show never-before-seen artefacts from its rich collection, which are currently sat in storage due to space constraints.

The museum intends to submit a planning application for the West Smithfield site to the City of London Corporation in 2017 and to deliver the new museum by 2021.

Funded by the Mayor of London through a £200,000 grant, the international design competition is being run by Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) on behalf of the Museum of London in accordance with European Union procurement guidelines under the Restricted Procedure. The jury has recently welcomed a new member, journalist, author and broadcaster, Sir Simon Jenkins.

Full details of the competition are available on the dedicated website:
https://competitions.malcolmreading.co.uk/museumoflondon

Full details of the public exhibition are available on the museum’s website:
www.museumoflondon.org.uk

-ENDS-

Contact us

To contact the press team please visit the News Room page.

About the Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

In close collaboration with our funders the City of London Corporation and Greater London Authority, the Museum of London will contribute to our shared goal of making the local area a world-class Cultural Hub.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 80,000 objects with more being added. www.museumoflondon.org.uk

About West Smithfield

The site at West Smithfield is located in the City of London and covers approximately 25,000 sq m. It comprises a series of vacant buildings including Smithfield General Market, the Fish Market, the Red House and the Engine House.

These buildings, most of which are Victorian, sit at the Farringdon Road end of West Smithfield, where records show there has been a market for nearly 1,000 years and archaeological remains go back to the Bronze Age – so there could hardly be a more resonant site for London’s new museum. Locating a new museum at West Smithfield would significantly contribute to the continuing rejuvenation of the Smithfield area and build on the opportunities presented by the new Crossrail station at Farringdon, as well as being an integral part of the City’s ever strengthening Cultural Hub.

About Malcolm Reading Consultants

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic architectural consultancy which specialises in the selection of contemporary designers. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – either at the local level, or internationally.

The consultancy offers a service to find the very best designers for clients with new building projects, whether through open-international, or private-invited competitions. Recent work in this area includes competitions for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture & Education Quarter, the Mumbai City Museum, the Natural History Museum, the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, New College, Oxford, the Cadogan Estate, Marlborough College, Aberdeen City Garden project, the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Exhibition Road project, the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo and the Glasgow School of Art. https://malcolmreading.co.uk/

About the Architects

The six shortlisted architectural teams are (in alphabetical order):

  • BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group (DK) with Hawkins\Brown, Donald Insall and Gehl Architects;
  • Caruso St John Architects (UK) with Alan Baxter Associates;
  • Diener & Diener Architekten (CH) with Sergison Bates Architects, East Architecture and Graphic Thought Facility;
  • Lacaton & Vassal Architectes (FR) with Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, Allies and Morrison and Alan Baxter Associates;
  • Stanton Williams (UK) with Asif Khan, Julian Harrap, J&L Gibbons and Plan A;
  • studio Milou architecture (FR) with RL& Associés, Axis Architects and Alan Baxter Associates.

About the Jury

The jury comprises (in alphabetical order):

  • Sonita Alleyne, OBE, FRSA, Founder, The Yes Programme;
  • Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London;
  • Clive Bannister, Chair, Museum of London Board of Governors and Group Chief Executive, Phoenix Group Holdings;
  • David Camp, Governor, Museum of London and Chief Executive, Stanhope;
  • Evan Davis, Governor, Museum of London and television and radio presenter (Jury Chair);
  • Dr Stephen Deuchar CBE, Director, Art Fund;
  • Sir Simon Jenkins, journalist, author and broadcaster;
  • Professor Robert Mull, Architect, Former Director of Architecture and Dean of the Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, and Trustee of the Architecture Foundation;
  • Lucy Musgrave, Director, Publica;
  • Jörn Rausing, Governor, Museum of London; and
  • Malcolm Reading, Malcolm Reading Consultants (adviser to the jury).

About the Cultural Hub

The City of London Corporation has a long history as a leading investor in the arts including the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London in the Square Mile. Together they are working to transform the area from Farringdon to Moorgate and the evolving Cultural Hub to create an unparalleled destination that is an internationally renowned, distinctive, vibrant and welcoming centre for the arts, heritage, learning and entertainment. A potential new Museum of London and a new Centre for Music are key parts of the vision for the Cultural Hub and will help to redefine this area of the City well in to the future and reinforce the City's central role in the cultural life of the country.