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Science Museum tenders Exhibition Road entrance redesign contract

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The Science Museum is on the hunt for an architect to redesign its main entrance on Exhibition Road in west London

The winning firm will create a ‘new, generous and contemporary entrance’ for the South Kensington museum inside a 1,200m² former Royal Mail building.

The project will also deliver a new ‘Patrons’ Centre’ and a ‘coherent and inspiring welcome journey’ for the museum’s 3.3 million annual visitors.

The announcement comes one year after Zaha Hadid won a contest for a new £5 million mathematics gallery inside the museum’s historic Richard Allison-designed home.

A string of earlier high-profile appointments also saw Muf chosen for a £4 million interactive gallery, Wilkinson Eyre selected for a £24 million suite of medical galleries and Coffey Architects picked for a £1.8 million library.

The four projects were all part of a revised £60 million, first-stage redevelopment programme which emerged following the demise of Wilkinson Eyre’s original £150 million regeneration vision in 2011. 

The latest scheme aims to improve access to the museum following Dixon Jones’ £28 million regeneration of Exhibition Road which completed in 2011.

According to the museum: ‘The part-pedestrianisation of Exhibition Road has already changed the public’s experience of South Kensington – the home of science, art and inspiration. Now far-reaching changes to the Science Museum’s entrance, along with ambitious plans at South Kensington’s other major cultural attractions, will see the area’s centre of gravity shift even more to Exhibition Road.’

The announcement continued: ‘In its role as the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum is inviting expressions of interest for a welcoming, light and sophisticated entrance space that incorporates its world-beating collections and encourages the spirit of inquisitiveness and creativity in visitors from moment they step inside.’

Karen Livingstone, Science Museum masterplan director, said: ‘This will be the most significant unlocking of public realm at this museum for decades. We’re looking for a contemporary approach that sits comfortably with the heritage architecture of our buildings and breathes new life into the welcome we are able to offer our visitors.’

The deadline for requests to participate is 2 November.










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