New Museum of London gets the go-ahead

The development will create a world-class cultural destination within a series of historic Victorian buildings in the City of London’s West Smithfield.

First announced in 2015, the Museum is one of the largest cultural projects happening anywhere in Europe and will provide a major boost to the London economy. Set to play a key role in the City of London Corporation’s ‘Culture Mile’ vision, which seeks to create a vibrant cultural area in the north-west corner of the City, this latest scheme will also contribute to the wider revitalisation of Smithfield.

Designed by Stanton Williams, Asif Khan and Julian Harrap Architects, the £337m scheme will transform a 2.2ha site into a 24-hour cultural destination. Comprising a series of Grade II-listed market complex buildings and outdoor spaces, the new museum has been sympathetically designed to preserve the site’s heritage whilst providing a cutting-edge home for the Museum of London’s seven million-object collection, vacating its current London Wall home in Barbican.

Working alongside the design team, Waterman’s environmental experts managed and coordinated the Environmental Impact Assessment, also delivering the resultant Environmental Statement which accompanied the planning application.
Describing the proposals, City of London’s Planners said it was an “exceptional and world-class example of the sensitive restoration and re-use of historic buildings whilst maximising economic and socially inclusive public access.”

In a further boost to the local amenities on offer, the museum will be surrounded by shops, gym and office space in renovated trader units.

Waterman’s Technical Director and National EIA Lead, Tom Wells, said: “We’re delighted to help the Museum of London secure consent for their new world-class home at West Smithfield, which will help contribute to the wider regeneration of the area as part of City of London’s Culture Mile vision. It was fantastic to work alongside a talented project team to create a highly sustainable development that respects the historic market buildings and gives them a new lease of life. We can’t wait to visit when it opens!”

Work on the scheme will commence in 2021, with the museum expected to open its doors in 2024.