Photographs of Design Museum by Rory Gardiner

Rory Gardiner photographs the Design Museum's new home

These photographs taken by Rory Gardiner capture the new home of London's Design Museum inside the former Commonwealth Institute, which was renovated by John Pawson and OMA.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

Shot in analogue, Gardiner's photographs reveal the oak-lined interiors created inside the 1960s building by London-based designer John Pawson, as well as the refurbished structure by Rem Koolhaas' OMA.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

The building's distinctive copper-covered, hyperbolic paraboloid roof is one of the few remaining features of the heritage-listed structure, which had its official opening last week.

The underside of this roof is left exposed and spans a huge atrium cut through the centre of the building.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

 

According to OMA, reconstructing the building below its unique roof provided a significant challenge.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

"The structure of the building beforehand was not capable of supporting any kind of meaningful modern function," said a spokesperson for the firm.

"The floors themselves were very cheaply built in the 1960s, but what was the star of the show was the roof."

Museum by Rory Gardiner

OMA worked with London firm Allies and Morrison, and Arup engineers on the structure, which completed earlier this year alongside three housing blocks built beside the Commonwealth Institute to fund its transformation.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

Two basement levels excavated below the footprint of the original building increased its floor plan to 10,000 square metres.

The new premises triples the space available at the museum's former Shad Thames location in southeast London.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

Inside, Pawson was responsible for the building's newly reconfigured interiors, where galleries are arranged around a minimalist oak- and marble-lined atrium.

Pawson also created a standalone shop for the museum in the base of one of the adjacent blocks.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

Architecture critics attacked the £83-million-redesign for its underwhelming sparse, oak-heavy interiors, and the constraining financial model created through a deal with the project developer Chelsfield.

Museum by Rory Gardiner

The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright likened the space to a luxury shop or hotel than a major museum, while The Financial Times' Edwin Heathcote argued the project is the product of consumerism.

More images

Museum by Rory Gardiner
Museum by Rory Gardiner
Museum by Rory Gardiner
Museum by Rory Gardiner
Museum by Rory Gardiner
Museum by Rory Gardiner