The Commonwealth Institute becomes the Design Museum - magnificent but.....

 I think the Guardian sums it up nicely - The Design Museum review – a magnificent achievement, but…

It is an achievement to preserve it.  Wait a minute. This is one of the great London Modernist buildings - in some ways the only great London Modernist building. and we are gratefully that it was not demolished or ruined. Instead it has been saved, against the odds. So magnificent achievement.

But. bits of it demolished, the surviving block squashed between two dull modern buildings.  On entry the fantastic roof slab is hidden behind a square set of wooden floors. It looks like what it is, modern structures squatting in a wonderful interior. You glimpse the wonderful interior from the front. From the front the original roof is not show cased.   This is very disappointing if you are interested in the Commonwealth Institute building. If you are interested in the Design Museum building then what a great entry.
Up the stairs crowded displays and in between glimpses of a magnificent arch a wonderful roof, in places the views are fantastic, in other areas the structural elements are put in ugly boxes, elsewhere the original structure is hidden.

Strangely successful failure.

The Commonwealth Institute | Post-War Buildings


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