London's Design Museum recently announced plans for an £80 million move to The Commonwealth Institute in Kensington's cultural quarter. The new Design Museum will open to visitors in 2014, joining the ranks of the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Serpentine Gallery.
The interior has been designed by John Pawson, whose past work ranges from Calvin Klein's flagship store in Manhatten to a Cistercian monastery in Bohemia. He aims to create a subtle but powerful enhancement of the original Commonwealth Institute, a 1960s Grade 2 listed building that has lain dormant for over a decade. By breathing new life into an existing landmark whilst simultaneously creating a space that will house world-class contemporary design, the plans themselves demonstrate the ethos of modern design solutions.
Currently located at Shad Thames, the Design Museum is already a leading institution showcasing contemporary product, graphic and fashion design. The move aims to transform the museum's somewhat niche status into 'the world's leading museum of contemporary design and architecture'. The plans should double their current visitor numbers and triple the space available for showcasing permanent collections and unique exhibitions. At the press conference announcing the move Sir Terence Conran called for design to be part of the DNA of Britain. The prominent message is that design matters and is essential for our future.
Text by Angelica Pursley for Crane.tv
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