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Coffey wins Science Museum library job

Clerkenwell-based practice sees off Witherford Watson Mann, David Kohn and 6A with scheme ‘to recreate the feeling of sitting under a tree’

Coffey Architects has won a star-studded competition to design a new £1.8 million library and research centre inside London’s Science Museum.

The studio defeated a raft of practices shortlisted for the job, including Stirling Prize winner Witherford Watson Mann, in the first of a series of new competitions by the client.

Other finalists competing for the prestigious South Kensington refurbishment project were David Kohn Architects, 6A architects and HAT Projects.

Planned to open by 2015, the new public facility will occupy the ground and first floors of the museum’s Wellcome Wolfson Building, completed by MJP at the turn of the millennium.

Karen Livingstone, director of masterplan and estates at Science Museum Group, said: ‘We were hugely impressed by the approach of Coffey Architects, which proposes a light-filled, elegant reading room within the building.’

Practice director Phil Coffey said: ‘The scheme itself is a simple idea to recreate the feeling of sitting under a tree, on a summer’s day, reading a book. The proposed canopy will create light and acoustic conditions conducive for study, as well as offering a unique space with a strong identity to be enjoyed by both casual and academic users.’

The project is expected to start on site next spring.

Coffey Architects Science Museum

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