Will be one of London's premier free entry tourist attractions

The relocation of the world-famous Design Museum to Kensington High Street took a major step forward when it announced an opening date of 24 November.

The Design Museum's new home at the former Commonwealth Institute

Willmott Dixon’s interiors company is delivering the £20 million fit-out contract to create the museum’s new home at the former Commonwealth Institute, where it is transforming the Grade II listed building that has been empty for a decade.

The Design Museum’s new home will provide three times more space than its current location at Shad Thames, and aims to attract 650,000 visitors each year to see displays that include the first laptop by UK designer Bill Moggridge, the AK47 assault rifle by Russian designer Mikhail Kalashnikov and British road signs by typographers Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert.

Our Interiors team outside the Design Museum's new home

For the first time in the museum’s history it will have a free permanent display of its collection designed by Studio Myerscough and featuring a 6m-long wall of crowd sourced objects.

It will also be the world’s leading museum dedicated to contemporary design and architecture, a creative centre showcasing the UK’s many design skills.

Before the opening, Willmott Dixon Interiors is creating galleries to accommodate one permanent and two temporary exhibition areas, as well as modern learning spaces, a library, auditorium, office areas and restaurant. Of the 10,000m² space, 400m² will be devoted to learning facilities.

The scope of our work over four floors includes:

  • Top floor: design gallery, a restaurant, members’ room, residency studio and an events space under the spectacular museum roof.
  • First floor: design and architecture reference library for students and learning facilities including design and workshop, seminar rooms, offices and film studio
  • Ground floor: the largest gallery showcasing a varied programme of temporary exhibitions inspiring and equipping visitors to look and think afresh about design.
  • Basement: a lower ground floor gallery and auditorium to seat 194 people, a collections store, exhibition prep spaces and a locker area.

Want to know more? Email Bev Williams

Willmott Dixon Interiors chief operating officer Mike Hart:

“This is a high-profile and prestigious project that will see the Design Museum become one of London’s biggest attractions when we complete the fit-out, with over 600,000 visitors expected annually. We are very proud to be delivering this last, important stage of the museum’s long-term plan for a bigger home, especially as we have a long track-record restoring listed buildings into modern spaces fit for the 21st century.”