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Wright & Wright gets go-ahead for Geffrye Museum

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Plans to develop the Geffrye Museum have been approved by Hackney Council

Wright & Wright was appointed to design the £15 million transformation of the 18th-century buildings in east London in 2014. 

The plans increase space available to visitors by 75 per cent from 2,000m² to 3,500m², allowing the museum to have some 50 per cent more visitors a year.

Included in the proposals are a new gallery, library and study, as well as a collection store in the museum’s main almshouse building.

The concept replaces David Chipperfield Architects’ earlier, highly controversial scheme for the 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.

However Wright & Wright, which won the subsequent competition for the job – ahead of Alison Brooks Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects and van Heyningen & Haward (AJ 15.04.14) – plans to retain the pub building as a new café for the museum.

In addition, it is hoped that a new entrance opposite Hoxton station will make the museum easier to reach by public transport.

Clare Wright said: ‘This success is due to the whole team’s commitment and hard work as well as the enthusiastic support of a lot of wonderful people.’

David Dewing, director of the Geffrye, said: ‘Developing the museum will ensure our buildings and gardens are safeguarded for future generations and many more people will be able to enjoy the Geffrye, be inspired by our collections and take part in our activities.

‘With planning secured, we can now really step up our fundraising campaign to make our vision a reality.’

There will also be a fully accessible pavilion and studio, which will be used as educational spaces.

The scheme is expected to complete by 2020.

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