The Geffrye Museum announces plans to incorporate pub as part of expansion
- Credit: Archant
One of Hackney’s best-loved museums has announced a U-turn on plans to knock down a Victorian pub after listening “carefully to public opinion”.
The Geffrye Museum, in Kingsland Road, Haggerston, submitted plans in December to demolish the Marquis of Lansdowne in Cremer Street as part of a proposed extension.
But the unpopular plan – designed by renowned architect David Chipperfield – was opposed by heritage campaigners and residents who set up Save the Marquis campaign and collected 2,100 signatures on a petition.
The £18.9million plans were eventually turned down by the town hall’s planning committee in May, but campaigners feared the developers would resubmit an amended application or appeal the decision.
However, last week, the museum – dedicated to home interiors – announced plans to incorporate the pub into its new designs in response to public opinion.
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It also plans to create an entrance opposite Hoxton station, new spaces for the museum’s collections and a library, gallery, restaurant, conference facilities and a proposed garden gallery.
The museum said the new proposals will build on the original principles of Chipperfield’s masterplan and will create spaces that greatly improve access to the Geffrye’s collections, buildings, gardens and activities for the 105,000 visitors a year.
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Director David Dewing said “Sadly, the scheme failed to secure planning permission. So in discussion with David Chipperfield, we feel a fresh start is needed.
“We will be selecting new architects with a modified brief in the coming months and submitting a new application to the Heritage Lottery Fund. We feel confident and reinvigorated about taking the project forward.”
Will Palin, the son of Michael Palin and trustee of the Spitafield’s Trust, who successfully campaigned against the plans to bulldoze the pub, said: “I’m very pleased. It’s the right direction to go in. We can look forward to a successful new scheme and it’s great they have been brave enough to acknowledge that and do it in the right way. I think it’s the start of a new kind of relationship between the Geffrye and the community.”
Clem Cecil, director of Save Britain’s Heritage, said: “We welcome the museum decision to revise and we welcome that they have been listening to public opinion.”
“We hope they continue to listen to public opinion on changes to this much-loved museum.’’
“We would encourage them to consult with as broad a spectrum of stakeholders as possible. We look forward to seeing the exciting proposals for the Marquis of Lansdowne.”