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Fosters gets go ahead for Imperial War Museum plans

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Foster + Partners has won planning approval for the first phase of its planned £71 million overhaul of the Imperial War Museum in London

Southwark Council approved the scheme at a committee meeting last night (8 May), allowing work on the scheme to begin later this year. The project is set to complete in time to commemorate the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014.

The AJ100 practice’s proposals include a reconfigured central hall at the heart of the museum (pictured below), new larger First World War galleries, additional gallery space at the top of the museum and a new café opening onto the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park.

Foster's vision for central hall

Foster’s vision for central hall

Future phases of the IWM masterplan include a new ground-level entrance, twenty per cent more gallery space and a larger and temporary exhibition space, due to complete in 2019.

As part of the phase one redevelopment, the museum founded in 1917, will temporarily close for six months from January next year.

Diane Lees, Director-General, IWM said: ‘We are delighted that the London Borough of Southwark have granted planning permission for this unique project to reinvigorate and transform IWM London in time for the Centenary of the First World War, a landmark event for Britain and the world. IWM was founded during the First World War as a lasting memorial to all those who played their part in the conflict. Our brand new galleries will allow us to continue this work in the twenty-first century, helping to keep the history and personal recollections of the war alive for future generations.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Are the chimneys rfeally iconic? Form follows function, and rther than plastic chimneys, a pitched glass roof is both functionally and visually more desirable. Perhaps the keep the twin towers brigade at the Wembley Stadium are still with us.

    Peter Banting.

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