LONDON.- Imperial War Museums
has submitted a listed building and planning application to the London Borough of Southwark to transform its flagship branch, IWM London. The planning application focuses on Phase One of a longer term Masterplan for the building, developed with architects Foster + Partners.
The first phase will be completed in time to commemorate the Centenary of the outbreak of the First World War in 2014 and includes:
· New larger First World War galleries significantly larger than the current First World War galleries, allowing IWM to display much more of its exceptional First World War collections
· A reconfigured central hall at the heart of the museum
· New central hall terrace displays, re-interpreting our iconic large objects to make it easier to understand their historical significance and context
· Additional gallery space at the top of the museum for exhibitions relating to contemporary conflicts
· A new museum Café opening onto the Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park and a new shop
Diane Lees, Director-General, IWM said We are excited by this unique opportunity to reinvigorate our flagship branch, IWM London, which last saw significant investment in the late 1980s.The Centenary of the First World War from 2014-18 will be a landmark event for Britain and the world. IWM was founded during the First World War as a lasting memorial to all those who played their part in the conflict. Our brand new galleries will allow us to continue this work in the twenty-first century, helping to keep the history and personal recollections of the war alive for future generations.
IWM is currently fundraising for the £35 million project and to date has secured over half of the funds required. The remaining funds are being sought from a variety of sources including donations from major philanthropists, Trusts and Foundations, corporate partners, the Friends of IWM and the public.
In order to progress with the redevelopment plans, IWM London will be temporarily closed for a six month period from January 2013. London Borough of Southwark is expected to reach a decision on the listed building and planning application by Summer 2012.