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A New Icon

London’s new Design Museum is as forward thinking in its architecture as the forthcoming exhibitions



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A New Icon
A New Icon

Located in a restored 1960s building in Kensington, London’s new Design Museum designed by John Pawson is as forward thinking in its architecture as the exhibitions it will be hosting in the coming years. The new building includes two major temporary gallery spaces, a free permanent collection display, a restaurant overlooking Holland Park, auditorium, studios, library, archive and new learning facilities.

The museum opened late last year with acclaim given to its architecture and interiors – particularly its most striking feature: an undulating hyperbolic paraboloid roof plated in copper. Dutch architecture practice OMA worked with London firm Allies and Morrison, and Arup engineers to restore the shell of the 1960s Grade II*-listed building – including its distinctive roof. Meanwhile, architect John Pawson was responsible for the entire interior overhaul, which involved the reconfiguration of the museum’s galleries around a central timber-and-marble atrium and all the spaces were furnished by Swiss firm Vitra.

The design centre offers an incredible library of exhibitions, design, designers, publications, learning programmes and research, not to mention a cafe, a restaurant, a shop and a member’s lounge area.

To follow forthcoming exhibitions and events visit

Photograph: Gravity Road

Photography Gareth Gardner