BDP has revealed designs for the Phase III restoration and refurbishment of the Grade II* listed Leighton House Museum in London. The £7.8m transformational project Hidden Gem to National Treasure recently received Round 2 Heritage Lottery Funding of £1.6m and will complete the restoration of the museum and create much needed accessible new facilities for the whole community.
Originally a studio house built for Victorian painter Frederic, Lord Leighton, the property has undergone gradual expansion over its 150 year history. While earlier phases were directed by Leighton himself, several less satisfactory interventions were made after his death including the house transitioning from a private home to public museum. We are reappropriating these secondary components as a physical and environmental buffer to the original house, removing unnecessary fabric to clarify and recover the original architecture.
Our designs expand the museum to provide more space for core visitor functions, collection care, a dedicated gallery for over 700 Leighton drawings, a new entrance and shop, and a consolidated staff suite. Most of the new development is within the existing building envelope or below ground, though a modest and compact ground extension for a new stair and lift is provided to accommodate accessibility needs. These new interventions will improve sustainability and support the work that the museum delivers to the community, providing a place of engagement for all ages.
Project director Alasdair Travers said: “With its incredible interiors, Leighton House is one of the most inspiring houses you can visit. To be involved here is an architect’s dream job and we are thrilled that after ten years working with the museum, the latest phase of work will open it up to new audiences as well as providing existing devotees with new insights and an improved visitor experience.”
BDP is appointed as architect, lighting designer, landscape architect, building services and civil and structural engineer for the project. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 with completion in 2021.