Museum of London announce shortlist for design of new museum at Smithfield markets

The new museum, which has a £130-150m construction budget, will secure the future of a series of much-loved heritage buildings at West Smithfield, help regenerate this historic part of the City of London and relaunch the museum, which has seen its audiences soar in recent years

The Museum of London announced today the six architectural teams have been shortlisted to design its new museum in West Smithfield as part of an the international design competition.

West Smithfield is located in the City of London and covers approximately 25,000 sq m and comprises the vacant Smithfield General Market, the vacant Fish Market, the Red House, Iron Mountain, the Engine House and other elements.

The shortlisted teams are (in alphabetical order):

  • BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (DK) with Hawkins\Brown (UK)
  • Caruso St John Architects (UK)
  • Diener & Diener Architekten (CH) with Sergison Bates Architects (UK)
  • Lacaton & Vassal Architectes (FR) with Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio (UK)
  • Stanton Williams (UK) with Asif Khan (UK)
  • studio Milou architecture (FR) with RL& Associés (FR) and Axis Architects (UK)

Nearly 80 teams comprising 140 practices entered the first stage of the competition, which had a strong international showing. The shortlisted teams were selected on the basis of relevant skills and experience, particularly, those involved with significant cultural projects which have had a truly transformational impact.

Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London, said: “It’s been an intriguing process so far, the range of creative architectural practices who submitted is phenomenal. The shortlist’s mix promises a fascinating next stage when the finalists’ concept designs go on display at the Museum of London this summer. I look forward to hearing the views of Londoners in the run-up to the jury reviewing the designs and choosing the winner.”

The Museum of London wants to bring the story of London to West Smithfield, to tell Londoners about their city, their history and their lives, and showcase the largest archaeological archive in the world. The museum’s ambition is to be at the heart of a new, well connected cultural hub and be one of London’s most visited museums. Finding a winning architect is an important first step in that journey.

Funded by the Mayor of London through a £200,000 grant, the competition, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, is being run in accordance with European Union procurement guidelines under the Restricted Procedure.

“The site for the new museum is complex and intricate,” said Lucy Musgrave, Director, Publica, and competition juror. “The shortlist represents an intriguing range of talent, some fresh and inspired collaborations, and reflects the international significance of this competition. Each of the finalists in different ways has created great cultural places in cities around the world, and we’re confident they will do the same for London.”

The shortlisted practices will now be briefed and asked to produce design concepts which will be displayed in an exhibition at the Museum of London in the summer before a winner is selected by the jury.

The museum’s aim is to achieve planning permission, raise the necessary capital funds and deliver the new museum by 2021.