The New London Design Museum Is Finally Open
Five years after the move was first proposed, and two years later than originally planned, the new London Design Museum has finally opened. The £83 million transformation of the old Commonwealth Institute building has been complete, shifting the Museum five minutes down the road in South Kensington.
The move to the old Commonwealth Institute building has given the London Design Museum three times more space than it had in its previous location at Shad Thames, with the building now hostsing the new Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning, a 202-seat Bakala Auditorium and a dedicated gallery to display its permanent collection.
The new version of the Museum was designed by renowned London-based architectural designer John Pawson. The building has a distinctive hyperbolic paraboloid roof which dips at its centre. Allegedly this caused the opening to be delayed by two year as it caused the design to be ‘inherently problematic architecturally’.
Having now opened, we think the building looks stunning. The transformation of the Grade-II-listed building which had stood vacant for over a decade, cost an estimated £83million in total to convert thanks to the constraints on retaining its spatial qualities.
Thanks to the move, the new London Design Museum can now simultaneously host a permanent display of its collection and two temporary exhibitions. The move also brought the museum into Kensington’s cultural quarter, joining the Royal College of Art, V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Serpentine Gallery.
Opening exhibitions include ‘Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World’, a display of eleven new installations by some of the most innovative and thought-provoking designers and architects working today; and the Beazley Designs of the Year, which celebrates design promoting or delivering change, enabling access, extending design practice or capturing the spirit of the year.
The London Design Museum is now open 10am – 6pm daily at 224 – 238 Kensington High Street, W8 6AG. Head over to the Design Museum Website for more details.