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23 December 2016

Design Museum reopens at stunning new home

The Design Museum relaunched at its new Kensington home in November, marking the culmination of years of effort to relocate the institution from Shad Thames to West London.

The Grade II* listed 1960’s landmark building had stood vacant for over a decade and has been sensitively redeveloped. The extensive refurbishment has preserved and celebrated the building’s modernist architecture, which is a fitting backdrop to the Museum’s world-class examples of design.  The project was a major feat of construction given the complexity of the building, which is famed for its parabolic, twisting roof.

The Museum now provides an inspiring space with exhibitions, pop-ups, talks, events and workshops. It also includes a permanent exhibition which showcases around 1,000 items of 20th century design from architecture, engineering, fashion, graphics and digital technology.

Charles Russell Speechlys was delighted to advise the Museum on its relocation, including its negotiations with the site’s developer, Chelsfield and the Ilchester Estate, and support throughout the subsequent construction programme. Both our real estate team, led by Mark Smith, and construction team, led by Tim Raper, have worked with the Museum throughout its move.

Mark Smith, partner and head of real estate for Charles Russell Speechlys, comments: “The development has created a new landmark for London, and it has been a wonderful project to support. We would like to put on record our congratulations to everyone at the Design Museum for this amazing transformation, the praise since the Museum reopened, and the acclaim it will undoubtedly receive from its visitors for years to come.”

Alice Black, deputy director of the Design Museum, comments: “Charles Russell Speechlys were instrumental in steering the negotiations between the Design Museum and the property developer, over the lease of the building and in dealing with the legal challenges that stemmed from an ambitious programme of works. Their advice, both strategic and practical, was invaluable in steering the project to a successful conclusion.”