Museum of London redevelopment
The event began with Sharon Ament, director of the Museum of London, introducing the competitive process that was held to design the museum's new home at West Smithfield, and the winning team - Stanton Williams and Asif Khan, together with conservation architect Julian Harrap and landscape design consultants J&L Gibbons.
Ament said that despite welcoming 1.25 million visitors in 2015, and even though a central-business district (CBD) of-sorts has built up around the museum since it first opened in 1976, it could not be said to be in the most convenient or obvious location for attracting tourists, especially on weekends.
By relocating the museum in West Smithfield, building it around and beneath the legendary produce market, it is hoped that this issue will be solved.
Paul Williams, director at Stanton Williams, explained in more detail the concepts behind the winning designs and the potential of the site, which involves balancing contemporary design with the physicality of the existing market architecture, to create an exciting and dynamic museum.
He drew particular attention to the idea of lifting the existing, rather flat, market dome on a collar, allowing natural light into the museum entrance below. He emphasised that the entrance hall, with its 16m wide dome, would be nearly twice the size of the Natural History Museum hall.
Drawing on the excellent preservative qualities of the location's clay soil, with amazing archaeological discoveries continuing to be made, Williams explained the idea behind visitors descending on spiral escalators down to the exhibition galleries, as being a 'portal to the past', creating a physical experience of moving down through history.
He explained how the museum galleries would be built inside the enormous underground chambers beneath the market that have been left unused for many years. A gallery of permanent exhibitions will be located beneath the general market, while a gallery of temporary exhibitions will be beneath the adjacent poultry market.
The winning proposal was 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.
The winners 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 the initial concepts into a fully-formed design.
Content and images courtesy of Stanton Williams.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Ordnance Survey (OS) have collaborated to identify high streets in Great Britain with new data survey analysis & interactive maps.
Nominations are now open, as the Victorian Society asks residents in England and Wales to nominate threatened Victorian buildings for their Top 10 Endangered Buildings of 2019.
England’s Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) seeks views on proposals for a radically new building and fire safety system.
One of Nottingham’s most cherished Victorian buildings, The Birkin Building designed by Thomas Chamber Hine in 1855 in Nottingham’s Lace Market, has been restored.
A recent Ramboll study indicates that rental yield and property values are underrated, as developers and investors underestimate the value of producing sustainable buildings.
This year, England’s Heritage Open Days (HODs) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a raft of new initiatives and partners, focusing on this year’s theme of ‘People Power’.