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Zaha buys Design Museum to house her archive

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The Design Museum has finally sold its existing current home at Shad Thames to Zaha Hadid

The sale, which has been on the cards for more than a year, will see Hadid take over the building near Tower Bridge in 2015 on a long-term lease where it will permanently showcase her practice’s archive.

The future of the Thames-side building, a 1940s banana warehouse and the museum’s home for the last 24 years, has been subject to speculation since the AJ uncovered plans by the Design Museum to relocate to the abandoned Commonwealth Institute in 2008 (AJ 28.10.2008)

Under the terms of the sale agreement - a deal understood to be worth more than £10 million - the Design Museum will continue to operate at Shad Thames for the next two years until it officially opens its doors on its new £80 million home following a refit of the tent-like structure by John Pawson.

Explaining her proposals for the building Hadid said: ‘The building will give an opportunity to consolidate our archive in a single location and also engage in a collective dialogue by exhibiting the research and innovation of global collaborations in art, architecture and design.’

Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum added: ‘While we are sad to be leaving Shad Thames we are leaving the building in the best possible hands, the sale is a significant moment in the museums relocation plans and a substantial contribution towards our new home.’

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