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Foster unwraps Imperial War Museum refurb

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The £40 million first phase of Foster + Partners’ overhaul of the Imperial War Museum in central London opens to the public this Friday (19 July 2014)

Foster + Partners has revamped the main exhibition spaces, café and shop at the Grade II-listed building in the first phase of the long-term redevelopment masterplan.

The central atrium, which contains the museum’s largest exhibits, is flanked by four storeys of terraced galleries that tell the story of conflict in Britain and the former empire chronologically from 1914 to the present day.

In anticipation of the next phase of work, when an accessible entrance below the existing portico stair will be created, the floor of the atrium has been lowered to the level of the park.

As well as the redevelopment of the galleries both the café, that can now be used outside of the Museum’s opening hours, and the shop have been relocated to the lower entrance level of the building.


Architect’s view

Spencer de Grey, head of design, Foster + Partners

‘Our project for the Imperial War Museum makes an important contribution to our ongoing work in historic buildings. We have peeled away some of the recent additions to celebrate and restore the historic architecture, opening the building up to the park and revealing the gallery levels inside an impressive new hall.’

Project data

Client Imperial War Museums
Client (café, hospitality) Peyton & Byrne
Architect and interior design Foster + Partners
Structural engineer Buro Happold
Mechanical engineer Buro Happold
Planning consultant Driver Jonas Deloitte
Project manager Driver Jonas Deloitte
Lighting George Sexton Associates
Acoustic engineer Sandy Brown
Cost consultant Turner and Townsend
Conservation Alan Baxter & Associates
Exhibition fit-out Designer Casson Mann
Retail designer Drinkall Dean
Signage and way-finding Holmes Wood
Approved inspector MLM
CDM Scott White and Hookins
Access Centre for Accessible Environments
Catering Court Catering Equipment
Surveys Sterling Surveys /Plowman Craven
Construction manager Lend Lease
Exhibition construction Manager Fraser Randall

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