New Design Museum gets a British design classic from Allgood

The new Design Museum at Kensington, which opened its doors to the public in November 2016 following a move from its previous residence at Shad Thames, has specified Allgood’s Modric ironmongery throughout its interior. Winner of the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery Specification Awards 2016/2017 Commercial category, the imaginative ironmongery solutions meet the architects brief; matching the building’s look and feel.

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Redeveloped at the site of the Grade 2* listed, former Commonwealth Institute building, the challenge for John Pawson was to remodel the building’s interior whilst retaining and emphasising its heritage. 

One of the £83million refurbishment’s standout architectural features was the preservation of the original roof structure, which was central to how the new project took shape. The internal floors of the old building were demolished with a series of piles, temporary trusses and beams supporting the internal roof columns until the new structure was built and the fit-out stage could begin.

The inherent objective of the project was to create a world-class museum in the heart of London, including permanent and temporary exhibitions as well as learning spaces – showcasing all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design.

Established in 1989, the museum is known for promoting and exhibiting the best in British design as well as displaying bold and iconic international items. The Design Museum also hosts acclaimed Designs of the Year awards, houses emerging designers in its residence programmes and participates in initiatives that encourage young students to get involved in art and design.

Moving from Shad Thames to Kensington has enabled the museum to increase its capacity threefold, allowing it to house a significantly greater amount of exhibitions in its 10,000m2 space, to attract an estimated 650,000 visitors each year.  

As expected from a museum dedicated to trends in design, there was a keen emphasis placed on all elements of the interior architecture – with products specified on the ability to meet the carefully planned theme. 

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Speaking about the importance of choosing the right ironmongery to suit the environment, Alice Black, Co-Director of the Design Museum explained: “A lot of care and attention went into planning the fit-out stage. It was vital that the internal elements complemented the existing building envelope and acted as a backdrop for the exhibitions.

“The choice of Allgood’s Modric ironmongery range fits this motif perfectly. The enduring look of stainless steel helped to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing architectural interior.” 

A British design classic, Modric is manufactured in Allgood’s UK factory where craftsmen pay close to attention to detail, hand finishing every product. Modric has a long-standing reputation of quality built on its ability to consistently perform to the highest standard. Operating on the unique quadaxial fixing, Modric lever handles have been independently tested to BS EN 1906 and have surpassed 1 million cycles, providing just one example why Allgood has the confidence to offer a 25 year warranty on the range.

Jan Hobel, Lead Architect at John Pawson, said, “Allgood’s range of Modric ironmongery is well known for its distinguished appearance and quality. A durable and high performance ironmongery solution, Modric is ideal for high traffic applications, such as museums and public buildings.”

The interior of the Design Museum features an array of products from the Modric range including lever handles, hinges, pull handles, push plates, wc turns, and door signage, as well as overhead door closers, magnetic door holders and unique, concealed doorstops.

For Wayne Taylor, Contracts Manger at subcontractor, Hoxton Site Services, it was the quality of the Allgood ironmongery that stood out: “In a busy commercial and public space such as a museum, it is vital that products of high quality are specified and installed due to their frequency of use and general wear and tear. The Modric ironmongery definitely fitted that bill – providing a robust, durable, hardwearing and high-level finish”. 

Reflecting on the scope of the project, Stewart Froome, Specification Sales Manager at Allgood exclaimed:  “The relocation of the Design Museum was a hugely enjoyable project to be involved with. The architectural design and method of build were truly unique and the end result is spectacular. We are confident and delighted that in the years to come that visitors will be enjoying the divergent exhibitions while making use of our high-quality and tastefully finished ironmongery.”

Winner of the Commercial category of the Guild of Architectural Ironmongery Specification Awards 2016/ 2017, the judges commented that ‘Allgood found imaginative solutions where needed to respect the architect’s aesthetic, including concealed hinges and magnetic door stops’. Commenting on the aesthetic appeal of the Allgood Modric range, the judges said that the ironmongery is ‘well fitted, well specified and looks great in situ’.

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