Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Design Museum of London in England by OMA with Allies and Morrison
December 8th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: OMA
In December 2007, along with five other architectural firms, OMA was invited by Chelsfield deputy chairman Sir Stuart Lipton to consider the potential of the Commonwealth Institute site. OMA’s proposal sought to save the grade II* listed building by reinjecting life into the modernist monument, the new home for London’s Design Museum, while retaining its distinctive copper roof and parabolic form. OMA with Allies and Morrison were the architects responsible for the design of the refurbished structural shell and external envelope of the building. The project required a close working relationship with Design Museum interior architects, John Pawson.
Significant and complex refurbishment works were carried out, including the wholesale reconfiguration of the structure and basement excavation to increase floor area and organisational efficiency to suit the needs of the Design Museum, while balancing the retention of the dramatic views to the underside as agreed with heritage officers. The refurbishment was realised while retaining the renowned parabolic copper roof in-situ, which required significant engineering skill from Arup and the contractor, Mace.
The facades have been completely replaced to fulfil contemporary technical building standards. The glazing was redesigned and replaced to retain the pattern of the fenestration and the blue-glass appearance of the original RHWL building. This new system permits controlled daylight into and views out of future museum spaces. Original stained glass panels were removed, refurbished and reinstated to be enjoyed by future visitors to the Museum.
The setting of the Design Museum has been designed with landscape architects West 8. Original features of the Commonwealth Institute have been painstakingly researched and reinterpreted back into the contemporary design with significant trees retained along the edge of Holland Park and Kensington High Street.
The Commonwealth Institute refurbishment project has been realised as an essential part of the adjacent Holland Green development by Chelsfield LLP and Ilchester Estates, a striking arrangement of three stone cubes that respond to the geometry and grid of the retained museum building, providing 54 residential apartments placed within a highly sensitive urban / park context and also designed by OMA and Allies and Morrison.
About REINIER DE GRAAF
Reinier de Graaf joined OMA in 1996. He is responsible for building and masterplanning projects in Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, including Holland Green in London (completed 2016), the new Timmerhuis in Rotterdam (completed 2015), G-Star Headquarters in Amsterdam (completed 2014), De Rotterdam (completed 2013), and the Norra Tornen residential towers in Stockholm.
In 2002, he became director of AMO, the think tank of OMA, and produced The Image of Europe, an exhibition illustrating the history of the European Union. He has overseen AMO’s increasing involvement in sustainability and energy planning, including Zeekracht: a strategic masterplan for the North Sea; the publication in 2010 of Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe with the European Climate Foundation; and The Energy Report, a global plan for 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, with the WWF.
De Graaf has recently worked extensively in Moscow, overseeing OMA’s proposal to design the masterplan for the Skolkovo Centre for Innovation, the ‘Russian Silicon Valley,’ and leading a consortium which proposed a development concept for the Moscow Agglomeration: an urban plan for Greater Moscow. He recently curated two exhibitions, On Hold at the British School in Rome in 2011 and Public Works: Architecture by Civil Servants (Venice Biennale, 2012; Berlin, 2013).
Contact OMA with Allies and Morrison