Museum of London releases its Smithfield plans

See what the future Museum of London will look like. Photo by Forbes Massie.

The Museum of London has unveiled designs for its new home in West Smithfield, with plans to create a new world-class, 24-hour cultural destination in the historic heart of the Capital.

The designs went on display at the currently derelict West Smithfield building as well as within the Museum of London’s existing London Wall site earlier this month.

Visitors to either location can now see the latest plans and ambitions for one of the biggest cultural projects underway in Europe and give their feedback.

They are being asked to comment on how the design team, led by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan with Julian Harrap Architects, have celebrated the architecture of the West Smithfield buildings which are in desperate need of repair and renewal.

With more space to create blockbuster exhibitions with a broader appeal, the museum will also attempt to recast its relationship with London and Londoners, securing its place as one of the Top 10 attractions in London.

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The enormous space will have plenty of room for a whole host of new acquisitions. Images and lead image created by Forbes Massie

The exhibitions will display more of the museum’s impressive collection – showcasing everything from fashion to fatbergs – and would be set inside atmospheric spaces, making use of the historic buildings both above and below the ground.

The plans would also see the museum become a world-class centre for learning, able to fulfil the museum’s ambitions to reach every London school child and enhance their learning experience. In addition and reflecting the ‘24-hour Farringdon’ location, the museum will increase its night-time offerings, playing a major role in the Capital’s night-time economy.

Sharon Ament, director of the Museum of London, said: “The new Museum of London will transform what a museum should be as we become a shared space in the middle of it all, in the middle of London, and in the middle of ideas and our shared history.

“As people will see from our latest design concepts, it will be a totally porous space available night and day to welcome all of London’s visitors. We’ll showcase the London Collection, our seven million objects, and tell the story of London and Londoners in some of the best examples of British architecture in the city.

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The regeneration project has been in the works for some years now

“An integral part of the Culture Mile, the new museum will educate in a world-class learning centre, inspire with our high-impact exhibitions and be a space where people come together to relax and reflect in the centre of everything.

“It’s been remarkable working with such a creative group of architects and designers who have delved deeply into an equally remarkable set of buildings.

“We’re looking forward to sharing the plans and hearing people’s feedback which we’ll reflect on as we progress into creating more detailed designs in the coming months.”

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, said: “The new Museum of London will be a welcome addition to the City of London’s Culture Mile, an asset for Londoners, and undoubtedly a very popular destination for anyone with a thirst for learning.

“The arts and culture sector is essential to the Square Mile, not just because it enriches people’s lives, but also because creative businesses contribute a huge amount to the UK’s economy.”