Designer Terence Conran Donates Millions to Help Design Museum Move Into Its New Building


Since 2008, when rumors first started swirling around, London’s Design Museum has been eager to move across town, into their planned Rem Koolhaas-rehabbed building, the former home of the Commonwealth Institute. Now it looks like they’ve received the money to do it. This week, the museum announced that designer-turned-millionaire-retailer, Terence Conran, had not only donated £7.5 million in cash (pdf), but “the value of the sale of the lease of the current Design Museum building at Shad Thames valued in the region of £10 million” as well. The cost for the move to the new building, which will give the museum more than three times its current space, as well as the required reconstruction efforts at the hands of a major architect, has been estimated at roughly £77 million, of which the museum now seems close to reaching, if not having reached already. However, as we reported when those rumors from three years ago were finally verified in 2009, it looks like they’ve now pushed the opening date for the new building up from 2013 to a now-planned 2014. Here’s a statement about Conran’s donation from the Design Museum’s director, Deyan Sudjic:

Terence Conran has transformed Britain. His contribution to the way we live, eat, and shop over six decades has been enormous. The gift to the Design Museum is a hugely generous investment in the future. By making our ambition to move to the former Commonwealth Institute much more achievable, he makes possible a project that will give the museum three times as much space as it has now. The new Design Museum will be the definitive voice of contemporary design, reinforcing Britain’s place as one of the world’s leading creative economies.