Sebastian van Damme
This edition of Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, explores London's new Design Museum – a significant expansion for the institution at an entirely new location in West London. The interior spaces of the former Commonwealth Institute Building in Kensington, which is Grade II-listed, have been renovated by John Pawson. Alongside the museum’s Deputy Director, Alice Black, the Monocle team investigate the thinking behind the relaunch and how the spaces are designed to accommodate a shifting audience.
This week, OMA has unveiled their latest project in London, Holland Green. Working alongside Allies & Morrison, the firm has created three new luxury residential buildings on a site of significant cultural importance: the former home of the Commonwealth Institute, designed by Sir Robert Matthew, one of the founding partners of RMJM. As a result, OMA and Allies & Morrison’s Holland Green project involved much more than just adding fuel to the fire of London’s booming luxury residential market—it also involved an extensive conversion to the original 1962 Commonwealth Institute exhibition hall, funded through the scheme’s profitable residential offering, to prepare the heritage building for its new tenants the Design Museum.
ArchDaily spoke with Reinier de Graaf, the partner in charge of the project at OMA, to discuss the development’s social aspirations, the challenges of the London context, and the story behind the project.