Museum of London

London, UK

The Museum of London was opened in 1976 and, with more than a million objects in its archive, is the world's largest urban history museum. WilkinsonEyre first became involved with the museum's development in 2002.

A first phase of work, the Core Access Project, focused on improving public access and reorganising the museum's circulation via a new vertical core and a new entrance canopy, shop and orientation area. A new special exhibitions gallery was also formed from a void between the museum and an access road below.

The second phase of work was concerned with the northern wing of the museum and the redevelopment of the Clore Learning Centre. This is composed of a series of flexible classroom spaces designed to support school trips focusing on specific areas of the National Curriculum.

The subsequent Capital City project, completed in 2010, involved making more dramatic interventions to the original building. The curatorial strategy was to reconfigure all of the existing galleries, including the famous Fire of London experience, into a less prescriptive sequence and to extend them beyond 1914 to create a new 20th century gallery.

The introduction of more natural light into the gallery areas is a common theme: a glass frontage was introduced on the London Wall façade, allowing visitors to see into the museum and the ornate Lord Mayor's State Coach from street level for the first time. A new, glazed elevation onto the central garden court has introduced light into new galleries on the lower floor. These Galleries of Modern London, developed in collaboration with a specialist in-house team, dramatise the museum's collections through a series of immersive spaces and interactive exhibits.

These Galleries of Modern London, developed in collaboration with a specialist in-house team, dramatise the museum's collections through a series of immersive spaces and interactive exhibits.