Stanton Williams and Asif Khan working together with conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultants J&L Gibbons have today been announced as the winners of the Museum of London’s international competition for the new museum at West Smithfield
Their vision for the new 25,000 sq m Museum of London at Smithfield General Market, which includes the Fish Market, the Red House and the Engine House, ‘balances a crisp and contemporary design with a strong recognition of the physicality and power of the existing spaces of the West Smithfield site’.
With a £130-150m construction budget their early stage concept envisages a new lifted landmark dome which would create a light-filled entrance to the museum; spiral escalators transporting visitors down to the exhibition galleries in a vast excavated underground chamber, flexible spaces that can serve as a new meeting place for London and a centre for events and debate as well as a new sunken garden and green spaces to provide pockets of tranquillity.
They were selected from a shortlist of six architectural teams by a panel of well-known figures from the world of the arts, media, property, architecture and business, chaired by broadcaster and economist, Evan Davis.
According to the judges of the international design competition organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, Stanton Williams and Asif Khan were chosen on the basis of their innovative thinking, sensitivity to the heritage of existing market buildings and understanding of practicalities of creating a great museum experience.
The winning architects will now work closely with the team at the museum and the museum’s stakeholders including the GLA, City of London Corporation and the local Smithfield community to develop their initial concepts into a fully-formed vision for the new museum at West Smithfield.
“Now we have Stanton Williams and Asif Khan on board the hard work begins, and I cannot wait to get started,” Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London. “Over the coming months we will work together to design a new museum for London and Londoners which will be one of the top visitor attractions in the capital. Our project sparked the imagination of truly remarkable architects whose hard work and talent produced astounding submissions. I am grateful to them all. The Stanton Williams and Asif Khan partnership is a scintillating combination.”
The museum intends to submit a planning application for the West Smithfield site to the City of London Corporation in 2018 and to deliver the new museum by 2022.
“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,” said Asif Khan. “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.”
A public exhibition displaying the shortlisted design concepts for the new museum at West Smithfield will remain on display until September 11 2016. Full details are available on the museum’s website.
Sharon Ament and Paul Williams will be giving a free, public talk about the project with New London Architecture at the Building Centre on 12 August 2016.
A new lifted landmark dome, which would create a light-filled entrance to the museum, is part of the plans by Asif Khan and Stanton Williams