The New Design Museum of London is to be inaugurated on November 24. An impressive structure: ten thousand square metres, six floors, two of which are below ground, £83 million for construction works. The design museum is moving to the exclusive and prestigious district of Kensington and a new building three times the size of its previous home in Shad Thames on the banks of the Thames.
The building was constructed on the site of the old Commonwealth Institute in Holland Park. It was designed by the British architect John Pawson, who is known for his minimal, austere and sophisticated style. From the outside, the building appears to have retained the outline of the previous structure but, inside, there are large windows, lavish wooden cladding and dynamic spaces to offer a versatile setting for new exhibitions.
This is what visitors will see: a free, permanent exhibition for members of the public of all ages and interests, two temporary exhibitions, a studio for young people where they can work and stage exhibitions, in addition to areas for events, bars, restaurants, stores, an auditorium that can accommodate 200 people, a library and the Swarovski Foundation Centre, with workshops to promote creativity. An ambitious project, steered by the director Deyan Sudjic.
Among the first events: the free permanent exhibition Designer Maker User with more than a thousand exhibits offering an introduction to design for non-professionals, from the Vespa Clubman by Corradino d'Ascanio for Piaggio to the road signs on traditional British green backgrounds by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. The works of contemporary artists and designers that reflect our own times with a mixture of love and horror will be on display in the Fear and Love exhibition from November 24. The calendar of events is available online at designmuseum.org