Team 5

Natural History Museum competition . London

+ Natural History Museum

BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) with Martha Schwartz Partners are among the five shortlisted teams for London’s Natural History Museum Civic Realm competition. The other ones are: Grant Associates with Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Niall McLaughlin Architects with Kim Wilkie, Land Use Consultants (LUC) with Design Engine and Stanton Williams Architects with Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape Architects. The winning team is expected to be announced by the Museum in April 2014.

We consider the grounds in front of the Natural History Museum to be a new public realm linking the museum with the city of London and beyond. Creating a diverse landscape of learning and leisure around the museum’s core tenets, the intervention brings the museum into the exterior public realm, creating a narrative that mirrors the interior timeline of the museum as it was originally conceived by Richard Owen. Within this landscape glazed pavilions house a new programme that seamlessly knit the grounds’ functions with those of the Museum. Within the new landscape functional solutions are offered regarding accessibility, ticketing, and queuing. We emphasise the historical importance of Alfred Waterhouse’s Romanesque design by proposing a simple linear gesture that picks up its characteristic half-arches in a contemporary expression that generates a playful atmosphere attracting visitors of all ages to discover the treasures of the Museum.

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