Wright & Wright replaces Chipperfield on Geffrye

Elizabeth Hopkirk

Chipperfield's Geffrye museum extension- corner plot proposal

Shortlist included Alison Brooks, Haworth Tompkins, Pringle Richards Sharratt and van Heyningen & Haward

Wright & Wright Architects has been appointed by the Geffrye Museum after it ditched David Chipperfield from its troubled £14 million redevelopment.

The practice beat a “really strong” shortlist that included Alison Brooks Architects, Haworth Tompkins, Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects and van Heyningen & Haward Architects.

The museum’s director, David Dewing, said the second tender process was “highly competitive”, with around 140 expressions of interest and more than 50 applications. 

He said the Wright & Wright scheme would build on the principles of the masterplan originally designed by David Chipperfield Architects in 2010.

Chipperfield failed to win planning last year for an extension that involved demolishing a former Victorian pub, a proposal that sparked vociferous protests from conservationists.

This affected its application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. That process will now be restarted, with a new bid due to be submitted in November.

The new scheme is due to be submitted for planning in 2016, with work starting on site in 2018. The redeveloped museum could open in 2020.

Clare Wright of Wright & Wright, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to work with the Geffrye Museum on its much-needed new development.

“The project will ensure this wonderful place, so close to the hearts of generations of Londoners, will be there to be discovered anew by generations to come.

“The architectural challenge of preserving its special ambience, while also exploring contemporary museum ideas with the client, is immensely exciting.”

Dewing said Wright & Wright was “an excellent choice”, chosen for their experience with heritage buildings, sensitive sites and complex problems.

“They are listeners and have the interests of visitors, users and the general public at heart,” he said. “We are confident they will take enormous care to preserve the wonderful and unique qualities of the Geffrye whilst introducing new elements that are essential for the museum’s future.”

The former pub will be retained as part of the scheme, but whether it will be a cafe or gallery space, for instance, has yet to be decided.


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