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Appeal 'an option' after Chipperfield's Geffrye Museum plans rejected

The Geffrye Museum is considering an appeal after Hackney Council rejected plans by David Chipperfield to extend the east London museum

Last night (1 May) councillors voted six to two in favour of throwing out the contentious £18.9 million expansion plans which would have seen a two-storey building added to the existing Grade I-listed museum and included the demolition of a former pub at 32 Cremer Street.

The committee said the scheme, which Chipperfield started working on in 2009 (see below), would ‘result in the loss of architectural and historical features on a listed building’ and ‘adversely affect the character’ of the museum which sits in the Kingsland Conservation Area.

In response the museum said it was considering its options including whether to appeal and confirmed it was in ‘on-going discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund’.

David Dewing, director of the Geffrye said: ‘We are bitterly disappointed. We passionately believe that our proposed scheme would have provided great opportunities and benefits to the local community, creating a much stronger, better museum, attracting more visitors and generating more investment into the Borough. 

He added: ‘The new building by David Chipperfield promised to bring world-class architecture into the heart of Hackney.  The decision by the planning committee denies the essential progress which keeps great cities vibrant and dynamic. We are now considering our options carefully. Our priority remains to develop the Geffrye Museum for the benefit of our visitors and the wider community and to ensure the buildings, gardens and collections are opened up to wider audiences.’

Read the full reasons for refusal here.

Previous story (AJ 28.06.2011)

Chipperfield to extend Geffrye Museum

David Chipperfield has been appointed to design exhibition spaces and a new library for the Geffrye Museum in London

Scheduled to completed in 2015, the ‘Museum of the Home’ project aims to establish the museum as a centre for ‘learning and discovery’, upgrading its circulation spaces and creating a new entrance addressing the recently opened Hoxton Railway Station nearby.

David Chipperfield said: ‘We are delighted to have been appointed by the Geffrye Museum to further our work that started with the masterplan in 2009 leading to a detailed proposal for this unique institution.’

In July 2009, the practice beat a five-strong shortlist including Wilkinson Eyre, Dixon Jones and Stanton Williams, to win the job to masterplan the 2,500m² project.

David Dewing, Geffrye Museum director added: ‘This is an important and challenging journey for the museum, and we are delighted to be working with David Chipperfield and his team on this exciting project. 

‘Their approach is thoughtful, clear and highly professional.  David Chipperfield Architects show great confidence in their ability to resolve the complicated and sensitive planning and design issues involved with creating innovative interventions whilst maintaining the quality and integrity of the Geffrye’s existing buildings and gardens.’

The project won Heritage Lottery Fund backing in May.

Readers' comments (1)

  • david walters

    From the published illustrations and background details this looks like another instance of insensitive architecture ignoring the urban context in true modernist tradition. The bridge that creates a horrid underpass is awful. Surely that mistake is reason enough for refusal right there.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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