The Geffrye Museum Extension, Shoreditch, London

Nigel Coates
Date Built
Kingsland Road
The Geffrye Museum of the Home is set in a collection of Grade I Listed almshouses in Shoreditch. 

The complex was built in 1714 and continued to operate as almshouses until 1912 when the Ironmongers Company, the custodians, moved the residents to a new facility in Kent.  In 1914 the buildings were converted into a museum focusing on the history of furniture making, a speciality in the Shoreditch area.  Laterly. it became the Museum of the Home telling the story of how the home changed through time.

In 1998, an extension was added to the museum providing space to add a 20th Century exhibition, a café, shop and education rooms.

The architect's website says of this project, "Exactly because the new wing extends the almshouses the museum has occupied for almost a century, we took many clues for this design from the existing buildings. The new structures are built from London brick and have a traditional timber pitch. We filled the space between the old and the new with a diagrid roof that swirls and hovers between the brick structures as if it were a cloud. ....

... Visitors emerge from the linear sequence of room sets in the almshouses to discover a curved trajectory applied to the 20th century settings."

-- The 20th Century Exhibition Area --