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Geffrye revamp gets funding green-light

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The Heritage Lottery Fund has handed the Geffyre Museum £11 million, meaning Wright & Wright’s proposed revamp can now go-ahead

The Hackney-based museum will now begin fundraising for the remaining £4 million needed for the makeover.

The £15 million plans will make changes to the interiors of the museum’s buildings while reordering and opening up the existing spaces.

The concept replaces David Chipperfield Architects’ earlier, highly controversial scheme for the museum site which was refused planning in May 2013 (AJ 02.05.13).

Chipperfield’s design would have seen a two-storey building added to the existing Grade I-listed museum and included the controversial demolition of a former pub at 32 Cremer Street. 

But Wright & Wright, which won the subsequent, relaunched competition for the job ahead of Alison Brooks Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects and van Heyningen & Haward Architects (AJ 15.04.14), proposes retaining the pub building which sits within the Kingsland Conservation Area, reusing it as a new café for the museum.

Changes to the museum’s existing eighteenth century almshouses will increase space at the museum by 75 per cent from 2,000m² to 3,500m². The lower ground floor will be opened up to create a gallery with direct access to the Geffrye’s period gardens, while the first floor will be reinstated over the almshouses’ period rooms to provide space for a library.

The proposals also include two new pavilions – one at the entrance and another in the garden. The glass and timber garden pavilion will be used as an events and education space, and the brick entrance pavilion will give direct access from opposite Hoxton Station.

David Dewing, director of the Geffrye Museum, said: ‘We are thrilled to have the Heritage Lottery Fund’s support for our plans to unlock the Geffrye. Developing the museum will mean more people will be able to visit and be inspired by the museum’s unique collections, buildings and gardens. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received for the Wright & Wright scheme from our visitors, partners and the local community and look forward to working together on finalising the plans to transform the museum. Now we can focus on raising the rest of the money and securing planning permission later this year.’

Clare Wright of Wright & Wright Architects added: ‘We have felt humbled by the extraordinary groundswell of support we have received for the proposals we have developed with the Geffrye Museum. HLF funding at this critical time will ensure the project happens. It’s a great honour for us as architects to be developing this scheme. We couldn’t be more delighted to be taking it forward.’

A planning application for the scheme is expected to be submitted at the end of the year, and the scheme is expected to complete by 2020.

Previous story (AJ 15.04.14)

Wright & Wright wins Geffrye Museum job


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