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Rick Mather wins next phase of history museum's revamp

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The Natural History Museum has appointed Rick Mather Architects (RMA) to produce a new masterplan for its South Kensington estate.

The masterplan will see the 'enhancement' of the Grade I-listed Waterhouse building, with particular focus put on improving visitor circulation. The scheme follows the successful completion in the summer of phase one of the Darwin Centre, the research centre designed by HOK International (AJ 19.9.02). HOK International was also responsible for an original masterplan of the site in 1992.

The project, which will attempt to bring together the museum's building conservation strategy, its access audit and its visitor strategy, will 'articulate the space' between the site's different buildings.

Rick Mather said the appointment represents an exciting win for his practice. 'This is a fantastic opportunity to re-establish Waterhouse's vision for the museum, ' he said, 'and at the same time set in place the directions for future developments on the site.'

The museum's head of estates, Kevin Rellis, praised RMA. 'It was chosen because of its experience of creating masterplans for arts venues and because of its individual tailored responses, ' he said.

Copenhagen-based CF Miller and Partners won the competition to design the second phase of the Natural History Museum's Darwin Centre.

The new masterplan is expected to be completed in October of next year.

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