Design Museum

London, UK

The Grade II listed former Commonwealth Institute building has been transformed into a new home for the Design Museum, opening to the public in late 2016. The world-class museum of design includes galleries for permanent and temporary exhibitions, education spaces and a design reference library.

The building is a unique, hyperbolic parabola in form, with interwoven curves, glazing, rises and falls in all directions across the expanse of the listed copper roof. Whilst this complex existing structure proved challenging to convert to an accurate 3D software model, we were able to create a TAS dynamic simulation which accurately reflected this complex structure. We used this model to simulate energy consumption, CO2 emissions and an enhanced version for detailed daylight analysis, all of which were very challenging due to the unique structural nature of the building and roof.

New glazed entrances will lead in towards the galleries located on the ground floor, basement and second floor. ChapmanBDSP undertook extensive daylight studies with the goal of reducing natural daylight as far as possible in order to achieve a controlled internal environment for features and displays.

London, UK
Cultural Facility Redevelopment

100,000 m2

Our Role

MEP Consultant/ Environmental Consultant/ Lighting Consultant


Grade II listed building


Temperature control for exhibits


Daylight analysis and optimisation


Services design to support flexible exhibition space


Design Museum


John Pawson

Project Manager

Gardiner & Theobald

Cost Consultant

Turner & Townsend

Main Contractor

Willmot Dixon Interior

2017 AJ Retrofit Awards - Best Cultural Building

2017 Leading Culture Destination Awards - Best New Museum & Leading Culture Destination Overall Winner

Design Museum

“We are really proud to have been part of the development of this iconic building, which is the new home for the Design Museum. The building services engineering solutions have met with the client brief, and architects vision, which provide resilient, robust and flexible systems, ensuring efficient thermal comfort and fitting environmental conditions for staff, visitors and exhibits. The building is a testament to the client and architect vision which showcases, educates and inspires”.

John Biscoe, Board Director