Fit-out of the world famous museum's new home in Kensington


  • Fit-out of Design Museum's new home at the former Commonwealth Institute

  • Highlights our skills for Grade 2 listed refurbishment
  • Fast-track programme of 12 months
  • Provides three times more space than Design Museum’s previous location

  • Museum is free of charge to visitors

Our Interiors company is playing a lead role in the much anticipated relocation of London’s celebrated Design Museum into a new home on Kensington High Street.

We deployed our skill-set for refurbishing Grade 2 listed buildings to deliver John Pawson's interior vision to transform the vacant Commonwealth Institute building into a thriving 21st century museum providing three times more space than the Design Museum’s current location at Shad Thames.

With major funding contributions from Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sir Terence Conran, the Design Museum joins the Royal College of Art, V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Serpentine Gallery in Kensington’s cultural quarter.

The museum features an open atrium, with large staircases around its edge, that allows for great views of its complex hyperbolic paraboloid roof.

Opening in November

The Design Museum opens on 24 November and will 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.

There are 250 items from 25 countries, including many household objects from the famous London Underground roundel and a pair of yellow washing up gloves to an egg cup and a bike from China.


Our scope of work included new galleries with space to accommodate one permanent and two temporary exhibition areas, as well as modern learning spaces, a library, auditorium, office areas and a new restaurant. Of the 10,000m² space, 400m² will be devoted to learning facilities.

It will be the world’s leading museum dedicated to contemporary design and architecture, an international showcase for the UK’s many design skills and a creative centre, promoting innovation and nurturing design talent.

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 500,000 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. We will be using our experience to deliver an exceptional home that will showcase our rich cultural heritage.”

For Interiors, it’s another major project for the company that fits-out over 1,000,000m² of new space each year.

  • Expertise

    Refurbishment Grade II And Heritage
  • Contact Us

    Willmott Dixon Interiors

    32 Farringdon Street, London

    EC4A 4HJ

    Tel: 020 7634 9600

Our team creating the museum interior