Stanton Williams and Asif Khan to design new Museum of London at West Smithfield
An outstanding example of London creativity, Stanton Williams and Asif Khan were selected from an inspiring 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 decision brings to a close a six-month long competition funded by the Greater London Authority (GLA), which attracted over 70 entries, and was managed by Malcolm Reading Consultants.
The vision for the new Museum of London balances a crisp and contemporary design with a strong recognition of the physicality and power of the existing spaces of the West Smithfield site.
The winning architects 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 their initial concepts into a fully-formed vision for the new museum at West Smithfield.
Evan Davis, Chair of the Jury, said of the decision:
"The jury knew it would be a difficult choice and that's what it turned out to be. We had six fantastic teams on the shortlist; each had ideas for the site that were both ambitious and interesting. I would never have guessed that you could take wonderful old buildings like that and turn them into a new museum in so many completely different ways.
But after a lot of discussion, a clear winner emerged. Stanton Williams and Asif Khan offered some really innovative thinking, and managed to combine a sensitivity to the heritage of the location, with a keen awareness of the practicalities of delivering a really functional museum."
Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said:
“Now we have Stanton Williams and Asif Khan on board the hard work begins, and I cannot wait to get started. Over the coming months we will work together to design a new museum for London and Londoners which will be one of the top visitor attractions in the capital. Our project sparked the imagination of truly remarkable architects whose hard work and talent produced astounding submissions. I am grateful to them all. The Stanton Williams and Asif Khan partnership is a scintillating combination.”
Mark Boleat, Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City of London Corporation, said:
“The City of London Corporation is proud to be a major funder and supporter of the Museum of London. We are looking forward to working with the museum as it launches this project to move to a new site in West Smithfield. We hope these ambitious plans will secure the museum’s long-term future, build on its reputation as an outstanding storyteller of the capital’s rich history, and contribute to the evolving Cultural Hub in the City.”
Paul Williams, Director of Stanton Williams, said:
“We are immensely excited about being given the opportunity to work with the Museum of London on this wonderfully challenging project – participating in an endeavour that will transform an area of London that has such a rich history, but sadly has been in decline for many years.
Encountering the historic market spaces for the first time in early April this year, we were ‘blown away’ by the power and physicality already existing, and knew then, that whatever scheme we developed, this physicality needed to be harnessed, and not lost, and that initial observation has inspired our initial design proposals. This project will engage a broad community well beyond London.”
Asif Khan said:
“To have a chance to create a new museum for London, in London, about London, at this moment in time is incredibly exciting for us. We all know the power of public spaces in changing our city and our individual lives, and this is what drives us. We want the Museum of London to be a museum where everyone belongs, and where the future of London is created.”
The museum intends to submit a planning application for the West Smithfield site to the City of London Corporation in 2019 and to deliver the new museum by 2024.