London Film Museum Building, Covent Garden Flower Cellars Design

Covent Garden Flower Cellars : London Film Museum

London Film Museum Project design by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

23 Apr 2012

Covent Garden Flower Cellars London

Kohn Pedersen Fox restores 19th Century Covent Garden Flower Cellars to house new London Film Museum

Design: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

Revitalisation of 1871 building is first completed project within KPF’s masterplan for Covent Garden

London, UK: A team led by international architecture practice Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) has completed the renovation and restoration of the historic Covent Garden Flower Cellars in London, first built in 1871. The Flower Cellars will be the first completed project within KPF’s recent masterplan for Covent Garden, commissioned by Covent Garden London, a wholly owned subsidiary of Capital & Counties Properties PLC.

Covent Garden Flower Cellars London
photograph © Tim Soar

The revitalisation of the 3,250 m² building forms part of KPF’s masterplan, which balances the historical significance of the site with the need for contemporary innovation, to cater for all the requirements of the area. With careful consideration for the diverse identity of Covent Garden, which acts as a cultural public space, a shopping district and place of distinctive heritage, both at a metropolitan and local scale, the masterplan provides a urban quarter capable of accommodating visitors, local workers and residents alike.

KPF’s design for The Covent Garden Flower Cellars has transformed the vacant basement and ground floor accommodation into a contemporary cultural site, housing the new London Film Museum at 45 Wellington Street. Located on the corner of Wellington and Russell Street, KPF’s renovation of the former flower market storage area carefully retains all the original listed elements of the building.

The London Film Museum has been given a strong presence at street level. The existing entrance has been replaced with a fully-glazed screen to maximise views deep into the building, whilst the arches above the original canopy have been opened up and replaced with clear glass windows, allowing more daylight into the space.

Apart from the entrance to the London Film Museum, the majority of the ground floor will be occupied by a new restaurant. The basement area, which stretches across the majority of the footprint of the block, will house the London Film Museum, plus a café and conference area.

Internally, the entrance space includes a new mezzanine and a large opening in the ground floor, with a grand stairway leading down to the main museum gallery. This provides a spacious triple-height entrance area, welcoming guests into the venue, whilst helping to facilitate the easy access of large exhibits.

KPF’s sensitive treatment of the space provides a harmonious dialogue between the existing character of The Flower Cellars and the new-build elements, which have been subtly integrated into the overall design. Only a few of the original basement vaults of The Flower Cellars still remain after a devastating fire some 50 years ago, but all the remaining historic structures have been carefully restored and lit.

A simple material and colour palette has been adopted, with white walls and neutral floors at ground level giving way to a black and white gallery scheme below. Within the gallery, a dark grey polished concrete floor and blacked out structural soffit and column tops are surrounded by white-painted brick piers to ensure a legible and consistent exhibit zone. Whilst externally, minimal signage has been subtly designed to cohere with the architectural quality of the existing building.

London Film Museum Covent Garden – Building Information

Client: Capital & Counties Properties Plc
Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald
Planning Consultant: Gerald Eve
M&E: DSA Engineering
Structural: Adams Kara Taylor
Quantity Surveyor: Turner & Townsend
Contractor: Ellmer Construction

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF)

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is one of the world’s pre-eminent architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients in both the public and private sectors. Operating as one firm with six global offices, KPF is led by 20 Principals and 14 Directors.

The firm’s 550 staff members come from 43 different countries, speak more than 30 languages, and include over 70 LEED accredited professionals. KPF’s diverse portfolio, which features over 70 projects certified or pursuing green building certification, comprises corporate, hospitality, academic, medical, research, civic, transportation, residential, and mixed-use projects located in more than 35 countries.

Covent Garden London

Covent Garden is a world famous district, unequalled in its mix of shops, restaurants, architecture, entertainment and culture. The neighbourhood’s new take on luxury mixes premium retailers with one-off craft stalls, street theatre with the Royal Opera House and world-class brands with emerging designers creating a vibrant retail and leisure district.

Part of Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco), a FTSE 250 property company, Covent Garden London owns assets valued at £808 million across circa 820,000 sq ft of space including 53 buildings and circa 320 lettable units (as at 31 December 2011), including the historic Covent Garden Market Building. /

Covent Garden Flower Cellars images / information received 200711

Kohn Pedersen Fox

Location: Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, England, UK

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