London’s Kensington cultural quarter welcomes a new neighbor: The Design Museum will move into a new space down the road from the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Serpentine Gallery in 2014. London architect John Pawson is behind the interior renovation of the Grade 2–listed former Commonwealth Institute building, which was designed by Robert Matthew Johnson-Marshall architects (now RMJM) and opened in 1962. OMA is overseeing the exterior renovation of the landmark, which has lain empty for a decade, and is also responsible for the design of nearby residential development. Arup is serving as the structural engineer, and West 8 is in charge of landscape design.
The $125 million renovation will allow the Design Museum to raise its visitor numbers to 500,000 per year, double the number that visit the museum’s current facility in London’s South Bank neighborhood. Galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions in the new space will clock in at triple the size of the museum’s existing gallery space, allowing for expanded displays of the museum’s more than 2000-object permanent collection. Also included in the plans are a library and education spaces.
The design museum’s fundraising efforts were recently helped by a $7.3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum is expected to open in 2014.