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Wright & Wright wins Geffrye Museum job

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Wright & Wright has been chosen to replace David Chipperfield Architects on the controversial Geffrye Museum revamp job in Hackney, east London

The London-based practice saw off competition from a shortlist which included Alison Brooks Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects and van Heyningen & Haward Architects to bag the re-run of the high-profile scheme.

Featuring new spaces for the museum’s collections and library, a gallery, café and conference facilities, the £14 million scheme will also see the improvement of public areas and a new entrance opposite Hoxton Station.

The much-publicised search for a new team became necessary after Hackney Council’s planning committee refused Chipperfield’s £18.9million expansion plans back in May 2013.

Chipperfield’s scheme 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. 

Councillors said Chipperfield’s plans would ‘result in the loss of architectural and historic features and would adversely affect the character of the museum’, which sits within the Kingsland Conservation Area and in December museum bosses decided they needed a ‘new approach’ to the project and relaunched the competition.

David Dewing, director of the Geffrye Museum, said: ‘Wright & Wright Architects are an excellent choice for the museum, they have a strong record of award-winning work with heritage buildings, sensitive sites and complex problems. They are listeners and have the interests of visitors, users and the general public at heart. We are confident they will take enormous care to preserve the wonderful and unique qualities of the Geffrye whilst introducing new elements that are essential for the museum’s future.’

Clare Wright of Wright & Wright Architects added: ‘The project will ensure this wonderful place, so close to the hearts of generations of Londoners, will be there to be discovered anew by generations to come. The architectural challenge of preserving its special ambience, while also exploring contemporary museum ideas with the client, is immensely exciting.’

Wright & Wright’s scheme, which retains the threatened pub was one of 140 entries, and is set to be submitted for planning in 2016, with the redeveloped museum due to open in 2020.

Previous story (AJ 17.12.13)

‘Fresh start’ as Geffrye Museum hunts for Chipperfield’s replacement

The Geffrye Museum has relaunched its search for an architect after dropping David Chipperfield Architects last month

The east London museum has revised the project’s brief and is now looking for a new architect to work on the expansion programme.

The 1,300m² development will create an entrance opposite Hoxton Station, new spaces for the museum’s collections, a gallery, restaurant, and conference facilities.

The former pub at 32 Cremer Street, which was controversially due to be demolished as part of Chipperfield’s plans, will be kept in the new development.

The museum initially said it was considering an appeal following Hackney Council’s refusal in May for Chipperfield’s proposed £18.9million extension to the Grade I-listed museum. However last month museum bosses decided to they wanted a ‘new approach’ to the project.

Museum director David Dewing said: ‘We have enjoyed a very productive relationship with David Chipperfield Architects. But sadly, the scheme we worked up together failed to secure planning permission. So in discussion with David Chipperfield, we feel a fresh start is needed.

‘We will be selecting new architects with a modified brief in the coming months and submitting a new application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We are feeling confident and reinvigorated about taking the project forward for the benefit of our visitors in Hackney and beyond.’

The planning committee had said Chipperfield’s plans would ‘result in the loss of architectural and historic features and would adversely affect the character of the museum’, which sites within the Kingsland Conservation Area.

The masterplan for the scheme was originally drawn up by Chipperfield back in 2010, after they beat off competition from Wilkinson Eyre, Dixon Jones and Stanton Williams, to win the job.

Previous story (02.05.13)

Appeal ‘an option’ after Chipperfield’s Geffrye Museum plans rejected

The Geffrye Museum is considering an appeal after Hackney Council rejected plans by David Chipperfield to extend the east London museum

Last night (1 May) councillors voted six to two in favour of throwing out the contentious £18.9 million expansion plans which would have seen a two-storey building added to the existing Grade I-listed museum and included the demolition of a former pub at 32 Cremer Street.

The committee said the scheme, which Chipperfield started working on in 2009 (see below), would ‘result in the loss of architectural and historical features on a listed building’ and ‘adversely affect the character’ of the museum which sits in the Kingsland Conservation Area.

In response the museum said it was considering its options including whether to appeal and confirmed it was in ‘on-going discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund’.

David Dewing, director of the Geffrye said: ‘We are bitterly disappointed. We passionately believe that our proposed scheme would have provided great opportunities and benefits to the local community, creating a much stronger, better museum, attracting more visitors and generating more investment into the Borough. 

He added: ‘The new building by David Chipperfield promised to bring world-class architecture into the heart of Hackney.  The decision by the planning committee denies the essential progress which keeps great cities vibrant and dynamic. We are now considering our options carefully. Our priority remains to develop the Geffrye Museum for the benefit of our visitors and the wider community and to ensure the buildings, gardens and collections are opened up to wider audiences.’

Read the full reasons for refusal here.

Previous story (AJ 28.06.2011)

Chipperfield to extend Geffrye Museum

David Chipperfield has been appointed to design exhibition spaces and a new library for the Geffrye Museum in London

Scheduled to completed in 2015, the ‘Museum of the Home’ project aims to establish the museum as a centre for ‘learning and discovery’, upgrading its circulation spaces and creating a new entrance addressing the recently opened Hoxton Railway Station nearby.

David Chipperfield said: ‘We are delighted to have been appointed by the Geffrye Museum to further our work that started with the masterplan in 2009 leading to a detailed proposal for this unique institution.’

In July 2009, the practice beat a five-strong shortlist including Wilkinson Eyre, Dixon Jones and Stanton Williams, to win the job to masterplan the 2,500m² project.

David Dewing, Geffrye Museum director added: ‘This is an important and challenging journey for the museum, and we are delighted to be working with David Chipperfield and his team on this exciting project. 

‘Their approach is thoughtful, clear and highly professional.  David Chipperfield Architects show great confidence in their ability to resolve the complicated and sensitive planning and design issues involved with creating innovative interventions whilst maintaining the quality and integrity of the Geffrye’s existing buildings and gardens.’

The project won Heritage Lottery Fund backing in May.

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