New Design Museum for London


The Design Museum in Shad Thames, London will transform into a museum for the twenty-first century when it relocates to a new site at the former Commonwealth Institute on London’s Kensington High Street.

The transformation of the building into a new home for the Design Museum is scheduled to be completed in late 2014. It will offer three times more exhibition space, vastly improved learning facilities and a dedicated space in which to display the museum’s Collection.

The move will allow the new Design Museum to become a word class centre for design, nurturing local British talent and its international influence on design of all kinds. It will bring the museum into Kensington’s cultural quarter, where it will join the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, Royal College of Art and Serpentine Gallery.

The former Commonwealth Institute is regarded by English Heritage as second only to the Royal Festival Hall in its significance to post-war architecture in London. The Institute was designed by Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall and located next to Holland Park.

This much loved modern landmark from the 1960s, a grade 2* listed building, has stood vacant for the past decade. It will be carefully remodelled for museum use by John Pawson.

John Pawson’s body of work includes Calvin Klein Collection’s flagship store in Manhattan, an airport lounge for Cathay Pacific in Hong Kong, a condominium for Ian Schrager on New York’s Gramercy Park, a 50-metre ketch and sets for new ballets at London’s Royal Opera House and the Opéra Bastille in Paris.


Exterior image of the new Design Museum at the Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, London.


Entrance Foyer. John Pawson Ltd. Image by Alex Morris Visualisation.

The New Design Museum from Design Museum on Vimeo.