The £20 fit-out contract will see the company deliver John Pawson’s design for the new museum which includes two temporary exhibition spaces, a permanent collection display, learning spaces, design workshops, a library, an auditorium, a museum shop, a café and restaurant. The museum is set to open in late 2016 and expects to attract over 500,000 visitors a year.
With major funding contributions from Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sir Terence Conran, the move will give the museum three times more space to show a wider range of exhibitions and significantly extend its learning programme. It will also provide free access to its outstanding collection for the first time.
Design Museum Director, Deyan Sudjic said: “This is a truly exciting moment, as we take possession of this remarkable building and see it transformed into a museum for the 21st century. A huge amount of hard work has gone in to getting the museum to this stage and we are extremely grateful to all of our funders and supporters for their generosity.”
The Design Museum is fortunate to have already raised over £42m through generous commitments from major donors, trusts and foundations and corporate partners as well as donations from many individual donors and supporters, including all Design Museum Trustees. The Design Museum continues to fundraise to complete the campaign.
Willmott Dixon Interiors chief operating officer Mike Hart says: “This is a high-profile and prestigious project that will see the Design Museum become one of London’s biggest attractions when we complete the fit-out. We are very proud to be delivering this last, important stage of the museum’s long-term plan for a bigger home, especially as we have a long track-record restoring listed buildings into modern spaces fit for the 21st century. We will be using our experience to deliver an exceptional home that will showcase our rich cultural heritage.”
The developers of the whole site, a joint venture between Chelsfield LLP and the Ilchester Estate, have donated the building and land, together with the cost of refurbishing the shell and core of the building.