Client The Foundling Museum
Location London, UK
2006 RICS Award Finalist
2005 Design Week Award Finalist
2005 Gulbenkian Prize for Museum of the Year Finalist
2004 Camden Design Awards - Commendation
The Foundling Museum is situated in the heart of Bloomsbury and was formerly a hospital for abandoned children. The Grade II listed building includes a local community facility and a significant art collection of the Foundling Hospital and three major figures in British history: the philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth, and the composer George Frideric Handel.
The design sensitively unites a new contemporary extension with a refurbished 1930s building and an ornate 18th Century, Queen Anne-style building.
The three-storey extension combines modern materials of render, timber and zinc cladding and simple, precise detailing over a light well and exhibition displays. Lower and upper ground floors have been reconfigured to transform cellular rooms into open plan spaces for the education centre, main gallery and café. The façade, stair and stunning Rococo interiors were all painstakingly restored. The museum promotes access for the whole community, actively encouraging children to visit, and incorporates a new lift and entrance ramp to facilitate wheelchair access.