Launched in February, the international competition to design the new Museum of London at West Smithfield has announced local firms Stanton Williams and Asif Khan as its winners. Organized by the Museum of London and Malcolm Reading Consultants—a London-based architectural consultancy—the program was created to find an architect or architects that could combine "innovative thinking, sensitivity to the heritage of existing market buildings, and [an] understanding of practicalities of creating a great museum experience," according to a press release by Malcolm Reading. The new Museum of London is set to open to the public in 2021.
Selected from a shortlist of six finalist proposals, the concept, developed jointly by Stanton Williams and London architect Asif Khan and his eponymous practice, won for its ability to balance pre-existing structures with crisp, contemporary design. The museum's new West Smithfield site's historical significance has made the task of renovating and restoring it a sensitive one, comprising 25,000 square meters (269,098 square feet) of Victorian buildings long threatened with demolition—including the Smithfield General Market, the Fish Market, the Red House, and the Engine House. These structures will be preserved thanks to the museum's willingness to relocate.
The two firms are working with London-based conservationist architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultants J&L Gibbons to realize the project. At its current stage, the concept features improvements and additions to the Victorian structures, such as meeting spaces, a sunken garden, a dome, and spiral escalators.
“To have a chance to create a new museum for London, in London, about London, at this moment in time, is incredibly exciting for us," says Khan in a press release, "We all know the power of public spaces in changing our city and our individual lives, and this is what drives us. We want the Museum of London to be a museum where everyone belongs, and where the future of London is created.”
Visit the New Museum of London's project gallery page for more images.