Museum of the HomeLondon
“I can’t wait to welcome visitors, old and new, next summer to explore the Museum of the Home and to celebrate this new chapter in the Museum’s history. Our new displays, spaces and stories will be a starting point for ideas and conversation about what home means. I hope every visitor will feel at home here and be able to relate their own experiences and ideas of home to the stories we share.”
Sonia Solicari, Director, Museum of the Home
Museum of the Home, set within 18th-century almshouses in Hackney, documents the specialist theme of home. Its broad appeal and charm hinges on the domesticity of both its collection and the buildings which house them. We have rationalised and remodelled the existing almshouse while adding a series of new elements. This transformational synthesis of new and old reflects a new curatorial approach based on making the Museum more immersive and appeal to a wider audience. The architectural strategy catalyses new possibilities for display, engagement and education, while reinvigorating and augmenting the historic spaces. Within the main almshouse building, the lower ground floor was reduced in level to form the Home Galleries, and first floor opened up to feature a new Collections Library, where visitors can explore previously unseen parts of the Museum. The much‐loved gardens (one of Hackney’s largest green spaces) have been landscaped to improve accessibility. Two new pavilion buildings book-end the existing gardens; the Studio Pavilion crowned by a green roof, the ‘21st century garden’ that enhances biodiversity across the site, and the Learning Pavilion, which supports the Museum's education programme. A new Museum entrance opposite Hoxton station instantly welcomes visitors, via a series of sculptural ramps and steps that are an extension of the public realm. The £18.1m capital project preserved the building, freed up space for display and study, generated 80% more exhibition space, and doubled the overall public space on offer, with no commensurate increase in its energy requirements. So in its careful reuse of resources and use of energy, it is a genuinely sustainable, fabric first solution, which has enabled us to remedy long-lasting deterioration, and sustain the Museum for generations to come.