Geffrye Museum gets green light for transformational plan

Display of a living room from 1965
Display of a living room from 1965 Geffrye Museum of the Home - Chris Ridley

The £15m scheme, designed by Wright & Wright Architects, will breathe new life into the existing 18th-century buildings by opening up and making much better use of areas previously unseen by the public. Structural and environmental improvements will safeguard the museum’s Grade I listed buildings for the future and allow much more of the Geffrye’s collections to be on display and housed in good conditions.

The development will also include a new café in a former pub on the corner of the museum site and an additional entrance directly opposite Hoxton station. A pavilion and a multi-purpose conference space will be created in the museum’s gardens for learning activities, special events and performances.

The total cost of the project is £15m. Having secured £11m support from the HLF, the Geffrye will actively fundraise the balance from trusts and foundations, companies and individuals. The museum aims to secure planning permission with Hackney Council in early 2016; with the plan to start work in 2017 and open the redeveloped museum in 2019.

David Dewing, Director of the Geffrye Museum, said: “We are thrilled to have the Heritage Lottery Fund’s support for our plans to unlock the Geffrye. Developing the museum will mean more people will be able to visit and be inspired by the museum’s unique collections, buildings and gardens. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received for the Wright & Wright scheme from our visitors, partners and the local community and look forward to working together on finalising the plans to transform the museum. Now we can focus on raising the rest of the money and securing planning permission later this year.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “We’d like to congratulate the Geffrye for developing a creative project that will be the key to unlocking these inspiring collections of British domestic life. Our funding will help enlarge gallery space providing improved access and greater learning opportunities. Many more visitors will now be able to step through the centuries to witness the evolution of our changing everyday world.”

Clare Wright of Wright & Wright Architects said: “We have felt humbled by the extraordinary groundswell of support we have received for the proposals we have developed with the Geffrye Museum. HLF funding at this critical time will ensure the project happens. It's a great honour for us as architects to be developing this scheme. We couldn't be more delighted to be taking it forward.”

Notes to editors

The £11m grant to the Geffrye is earmarked funding which means the project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so this is an endorsement of outline proposals. The grant includes a development grant of £425,300 awarded now to further develop the plans. The Geffrye now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to secure a firm award.

The Geffrye Museum explores the home from 1600 to the present day. Evocative displays of London, middle-class living rooms and gardens illustrate homes and home-life through the centuries, reflecting changes in society, behaviour, style and taste. The many aspects of home are brought to life through an imaginative and inspirational programme of special exhibitions and events. The museum is set in beautiful 18th-century almshouse buildings surrounded by gardens in Hoxton, East London.

Wright & Wright is an award-winning architectural practice based in London. Wright and Wright is well known for its design flair and imagination in significant historic settings. The practice focuses on creating contemporary yet sensitive solutions for museums, libraries, archives and educational institutions. Clients include the V&A, The Royal College of Art, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, The Women's Library and Lambeth Palace. For further information contact Helen Hancock at h.hancock@wrightandwright.co.uk or 020 7428 9393. Further information is available at the Wright & Wright Architects' website.

The timetable for the development project is dependent on funding and planning. The aim is submit a planning application to Hackney Council in late 2015, start work on site in 2017 and open the redeveloped museum in 2019 / 2020.

Further information

Nancy Loader at press@geffrye-museum.org.uk or 020 7749 6026, Emma Dixon at edixon@geffrye-museum.org.uk or 020 7749 6031, or John Diviney at Brunswick Arts at geffryemuseum@brunswickgroup.com or 0207 396 5366.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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