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Home of the new Design Museum London at the Commonwealth Institute, photo by Paul Grover
Home of the new Design Museum London at the Commonwealth Institute, photo by Paul Grover

DESIGN MUSEUM LONDON'S NEW £80 MILLION HOME

Jan. 24, 2012

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The Design Museum London is making an £80 million move from Tower Hill to the iconic copper-topped Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, which has been closed since 2002. After staircases are ripped out as part of the museum’s major renovation plans, the five-story 1960s building will house a new 200-seat auditorium, a café, three temporary galleries, and will triple the overall exhibition space, the London Evening Standard reports.

Columnist Kieran Long speculates that the oversized open atrium at the center of the building could function like a Turbine Hall-style venue for larger-scale works of design.

Of the Grade II*-listed building, a designation reserved for especially important architecture, museum founder and current exhibition subject Terence Conran told the paper, “It's the dream site and will be the best design museum in the world."

Added architect John Pawson, "In making this legacy for future generations, we are saving a work of iconic architecture. I hope the result will demonstrate that you don't need to demolish old buildings to make wonderful new public space."

The museum still needs to raise about £18 million, but expects to welcome a doubled capacity of 500,000 visitors by 2014.

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