The story

The Design Museum is located on High Street Kensington.

From Shad Thames to Kensington

Following a long search for larger premises to expand its activities, in 2008 the Design Museum selected the former 1960s building in Kensington High Street, West London, as its new home.

The unique landmark from the 1960s, a Grade II* listed building had stood vacant for over a decade, was transformed by a design team led by John Pawson who made the building fit for a 21st century museum, whilst at the same time retaining its unique spatial quality.

The Design Museum worked with John Pawson on the interior fit out of its building. OMA were responsible for the overall master plan and in conjunction with Allies and Morrison for the refurbishment of the exterior of the museum.

Opening countdown

Ten designers celebrated the opening of the museum, by designing a number as part of a countdown, showcased across the museum's channels.

Lucienne Roberts +

Margaret Calvert


Wim Crouwel

Jonathan Barnbrook

Brody Associates

Morag Myerscough

Paul Smith

Terence Conran

John Pawson

Capital Campaign Supporters

With thanks to the generous individuals, trusts and foundations and corporate partners who supported the creation of the Design Museum in its new home in Kensington.


Nov 2009 – April 2010
Selection process for project design team (OJEU)
May 2010
Announcement of the design team, led by John Pawson
Jul 2010
Planning permission granted by RBKC for the overall Chelsfield LLP/Ilchester Estate scheme
July 2012
Agreement for Lease signed with developers
July 2012
Full listed building consent granted to the Design Museum for internal fit out works
July 2012
Developers on site to begin enabling works
September 2012
Ground breaking ceremony in Kensington High Street
End of 2014 – 2015
Design Museum interior reconfiguration and fit out
24 November 2016
The new Design Museum opens to the public

Sir Terence Conran, Founder and Trustee of the Design Museum says

'Moving the Design Museum to Kensington is the most important moment of my long career in design so far. It will allow all our dreams and ambitions for the museum to come true, to create a world class space with the size and scope for the serious promotion and celebration of design and architecture in this country.'

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