The Architecture Foundation was delighted to work with the Museum of London to commission a design team to develop a temporary structure that will help facilitate participatory discussion about future development plans for the Museum of London and the wider cultural hub in this part of London. The structure, located outside the Museum of London’s main entrance, should be able to accommodate individuals and small groups at any one time and allow them to feedback on proposed visions for the Museum and its future. It was envisaged that the structure should also help attract visitors to the Museum and make use of its exterior forecourt spaces. The winning design was realised in time for the London Festival of Architecture 2014 in June and will remain in place until September 2014. The legacy of the structure will also be incorporated into the brief and designers will be asked to put forward suggestions for how the structure could have an afterlife.
London/Swiss based practice GRUPPE were the winners of the competition. Their structure is inspired by historic fragments found around the City of London and designed as a pier of an imaginary structure linking the St Alban tower on Wood Street to the Museum of London. Conceived as a place for contemplation about what a museum could and should be, the public will enter the structure to give their feedback and reflect on this topic.
The winning design was chosen by an expert jury panel consisting of Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian Architecture Critic; Hannah Lawson, Director at John McAslan and Partners; and Vicky Richardson, Director Architecture, Design, Fashion, British Council; along with representatives from The Architecture Foundation and the Museum of London.
The Museum of London worked with GRUPPE to deliver the structure in time for the London Festival of Architecture. In the summer, the structure will act as the focal point for a series of events hosted by the museum that will encourage the public to feed into the brief for the future vision of the Museum.
The House of Muses was open from 6 June to 21 September 2014 at the Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN (10am – 6pm, Monday – Saturday).
Project development team: Boris Gusic, Christoph Junk, Fabian Lauener, Selina Lauener, Nicholas Lobo Brennan, Patrick Meng. GRUPPE was established in 2010 by Boris Gusic, Christoph Junk and Nicholas Lobo Brennan and the practice now works between Zurich and London. They are an architecture office whose work is concerned with thinking through making. Whether constructing furniture and small structures, or designing buildings, all their projects begin with investigations into the elements of architecture. They believe that architecture is a way of thinking and acting, where the gathering of materials is inseparable from the assembly of people. In 2012 they won the Swiss Art Award for Architecture, and in 2013 they were finalists for the Debut Award at the Lisbon Triennale. GRUPPE have taught and lectured at the ETH Zurich (CH), the Sandberg Institute at the Rietveld Akademie (Amsterdam, NL), the Berlage Institute (Delft, NL), Karlsruhe Architekturschaufenster (D), amongst other places. GRUPPE are currently exhibiting their work at the Swiss Architecture Museum in Basel in the show ‘Orientations. Young Swiss Architects’.
Question and Answer Document can be found here.