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Conran handout ensures Pawson’s Design Museum switch

Habitat founder Terence Conran has pledged nearly £18 million towards the Design Museum’s proposed move to the Commonwealth Institute (CI) in west London

The donation by Conran includes a cash gift of £7.5million and has vowed to hand over the proceeds raised from the sale of the lease of the Design Museum’s current Conran Foundation-owned building at Shad Thames, expected to be in the region of £10 million.

The museum intends to move into a significantly bigger space across the capital inside RMJM’s 1962 former CI building - a £77 million project being overseen by John Pawson (see AJ 03.06.10)

The architect is converting the interior of the empty, tent-like Grade II*-listed landmark, which sits within a larger £77 million development of the site designed by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA, and has been working Lord Cunliffe, a leading member of the original architectural team and James Sutherland, the building’s original structural engineer

Conran said: ‘Moving to the Commonwealth Institute will allow all our dreams and ambitions for the Design Museum to come true - to create a world class space with the size and scope for the serious promotion and celebration of design and architecture in this country. I am also uplifted by the support we are receiving from Government, who recognise the enormous contribution the creative industries make to the economy and the quality of life of ordinary people. Design, manufacturing and business are completely interlinked and one cannot succeed without the other.’

‘Terence makes possible a project that will give the museum three times as much space as it has now’

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum added: ‘‘Terence Conran has transformed Britain. His contribution to the way we live, eat, and shop over six decades has been enormous. The gift to the Design Museum is a hugely generous investment in the future. By making our ambition to move to the former Commonwealth Institute much more achievable, he makes possible a project that will give the museum three times as much space as it has now.

‘The new Design Museum will be the definitive voice of contemporary design, reinforcing Britain’s place as one of the world’s leading creative economies.’

The AJ understands the museum still needs a further £23 million towards the project, but still hopes the new home to complete in 2014.

Previous story (AJ 18.11.10)

Museum cuts: Pawson’s Design Museum switch safe

The Design Museum has played down fears that its planned move to the Commonwealth Institute (CI), west London, could be affected by the government’s decision to pull ‘national’ funding for eight museums

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced it is to scrap its sponsorship of ‘museums that should be the responsibility of local communities’ and ‘returned to their more appropriate homes’ as part of its four-year business plan.

The museums facing the cuts are: the Design Museum; the National Football Museum; the Geffrye Museum; the Horniman Museum and Gardens; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Coal Mining Museum for England; the National Football Museum; the People’s History Museum; and Tyne and Wear Museums

A spokesman for the Shad Thames-based Design Museum said the news would not affected the high-profile relocation across the capital, which will see John Pawson create a new home for the museum within RMJM’s 1962 former CI building.

He said: ‘Having just secured HLF funding for the Commonwealth Institute we are gearing up for the move to our new home in 2014.

‘With regard to the DCMS, the Design Museum’s operating budget is £4million of which just 10 per cent comes from the DCMS - we have a track record of raising our own funding, from sponsorship, admissions, ticket sales, retail.

DCMS has shown the museum’s grant in aid reducing by 65 per cent over the next four years, so the cut  to the museum budget is at worst, 65 per cent of 10 per cent.

He explained: ‘However, this cut is calculated by the DCMS on the basis of a grant in aid which would have increased year on year, adjusted back to the level of the cuts, so this percentage looks greater than it actually is.

Since we had not planned on receiving an increase in grant in aid, the DCMS percentage looks greater than it really is, we will receive £900 000 over the next four years, rather than £1.4million.’

The AJ has received similarly robust statements from the the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, which is about to complete a multi-million overhaul designed by Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams, and from the National Football Museum which is currently looking to move from Preston into central Manchester.

Kevin Moore, the museum’s director, said: ‘While we would be very disappointed if our funding from DCMS was discontinued, it would not affect the creation of the new National Football Museum at Urbis and its successful operation in future years.

‘It will be business as usual in Manchester but it would mean cuts to the delivery of our ground-breaking learning and social inclusion programmes across the country, which is part of our remit as a national museum, and which are targeted especially at disadvantaged youngsters.’

Previous story (AJ 27.09.10)

Lottery boosts Pawson’s Design Museum switch

John Pawson’s project to create a new home for the Design Museum in Kensington High Street, West London, has landed a £300,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) development grant

Currently based near Tower Bridge in south east London, the museum plans to relocate to the 1962 RMJM-designed Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington.

Rem Koolhaas’ OMA has planning permission for a Chelsfield-backed mixed-use redevelopment of the Grade II* Listed ‘parabola’ structure.

The HLF has given the Design Museum two years in which to develop its proposals for the Pawson-designed interior. The project-backers eventually hope to bag £4.9 million worth of lottery funding.

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, said: ‘We are thrilled that after such a long time of uncertainty, the long term future of the Commonwealth Institute is now secure. This is a great chance to build the new Design Museum which the world will learn from’.

John Pawson, who landed the prize project following a high-profile contest earlier this year (see below), said: ‘I’m very excited to be playing a part in turning this remarkable 1960s building into a world class museum, dedicated to showing design in a new way.

‘The original architecture has many distinctive qualities, which won’t be lost in this exciting opportunity to repossess a cultural building for a new cultural purpose.’

 

Previous story (03.06.10)

Pawson wins Design Museum competition

John Pawson has seen off an impressive seven-strong shortlist to create a new home for the Design Museum inside the Commonwealth Institute in West London

The practice beat Stirling Prize winner David Chipperfield Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Caruso St John Architects, Stanton Williams, Tony Fretton and Dutch minimalist Claus En Kaan Architecten.

The Design Museum intends to relocate from its current home near Tower Bridge and move across the capital into the Grade II*-listed, RMJM-designed 1962 landmark on Kensington High Street.

The museum will become the cultural ‘anchor’ of the Parabola - the rebranded name for the proposed redevelopment of the site which is being funded by developer Chelsfield. The contentious 62-home scheme was masterminded by Rem Koolhaas’ practice OMA and approved last September by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Chelsfield’s Stuart Lipton described the appointment as ‘a very appropriate choice’.

The victorious Pawson team includes structural engineers Ove Arup & Partners, Jackson Coles and catering consultants Tricon.

Previous story (AJ 03.03.10)

Chipperfield on all-star Design Museum shortlist

David Chipperfield Architects has been named on an impressive seven-strong shortlist to create a new home for the Design Museum inside the Commonwealth Institute in west London

The Stirling Prize winner is joined by Haworth Tompkins, Caruso St John Architects, Stanton Williams, John Pawson, Tony Fretton and Dutch minimalist Claus En Kaan Architecten. There were 42 entries to the competition.

The Design Museum wants to decamp from its current home near Tower Bridge and move across the capital into the Grade II*-listed, RMJM-designed 1962 landmark on Kensington High Street.

The relocation has been on the cards since late 2008, when it emerged developer Chelsfield had approached the museum to become the cultural ‘anchor’ of the Parabola, its proposed redevelopment of the site. The controversial 62-home scheme was masterminded by Rem Koolhaas’ practice OMA and approved last September by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The winning design team, to be announced in April, will oversee a ‘fully coordinated scheme for the museum fit-out within the existing listed Parabola building’. It will create both temporary and permanent exhibition galleries as well as education, event, catering and retail spaces, plus an auditorium, office storage, back-of-house areas and plant-related spaces.

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, said: ‘We are looking for an architect who reflects the museum’s commitment to design excellence and who will bring out the best of this remarkable building.’

Meanwhile, Secretary of State John Denham has still not announced whether he intends to call in the listed building consent application secured by OMA for its proposed overhaul of the Commonwealth Institute

Readers' comments (1)

  • Any chance Conran has any spare cash left to buy back Habitat?...

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