Darwin Centre phase II

 Darwin Centre phase II. C.F. Møller. Photo: Torben Eskerod

Client

The Natural History Museum

Address

London, UK

Size

16000 m²

Year

2001-2009, 2010

Competition

1st prize in international competition. 2001

The second phase of the Darwin Centre is an extension of the famous Natural History Museum in London, taking the form of a huge eight-storey concrete cocoon, surrounded by a glass atrium.

The Natural History Museum is both one of the UK's top five visitor attractions, and a world-leading science research centre. The architecture of the Darwin Centre reflects this dual role, and reveals to the public for the first time the incredible range and diversity of the Museum's collections and the cutting-edge scientific research they support.

The centrepiece is made to appear like a large silk cocoon, and forms the inner protective element that houses the museum’s unique collection of 17 million insects and 3 million plants. The shape and size give the visitor a tangible understanding of the volume of the collections contained within. The regulation of temperature and humidity reduce the risk of pest infestations ensuring that the collections will be protected and preserved for many years to come. The exposed thermal mass of the continuous sprayed reinforced concrete shell maintains a stable internal environment, and minimizes energy loading.

Public access to the scientific core of the second phase of the Darwin Centre takes the form of a visitor route up and through the cocoon, overlooking the science and collection areas. Visitors can experience the Darwin Centre as a compelling and interactive learning space, observing the scientific and research activities without interrupting scientific work in progress.

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Team

Construction

BAM Construct UK (main contractor)

Engineering

Arup (structural engineer)
Fulcrum Consulting (services engineer)
Buro Happold (fire)

Architect

C.F. Møller

Landscape

C.F. Møller Landscape

Collaborators, other

Turner and Townsend (cost consultant)

Awards

  • Civic Trust Award. 2011
  • Dedalo Minosse Award, honourable mention. 2011
  • Shortlisted for RIBA Awards for London. 2011
  • Shortlisted for the Conde Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Awards, Culture. 2010
  • Shortlisted for Project of the Year in Building Magazine. 2010
  • Shortlisted for RIBA Award in the London Region. 2010
  • Winner of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering Awards in the category Best Service Engineering Project: Large Firm. 2010
  • Concrete Society Award, Overall Winner. 2009
  • Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award. 2009
  • Plaisterers' Trophy Awards, Winner of a 'Highly Commended' Award. 2009
  • Structural Award for Arts or Entertainment Structures. 2009
  • 1st prize in international competition. 2001

Energy and sustainability

Energy efficient design

Phase changing materials

Sustainable planning

References

  • 2013 Creative Diagram in Architecture, p.59
  • 2013 The Book of Drawings + Sketches, p. 248-241
  • 2012 INA - International New Architecture, p. 60-67
  • 2012 21 st Century London, The New Architecture, p. 54-55
  • 2012 Architecture of LOW ENERGY, p. 75-85
  • 2012 Atlas of World Architecture, p. 300-301
  • 2012 Detail in Contemporay Concrete Architecture, p. 18-21
  • 2012 Forms and meanings, The World's latest top cultural architectures, p. 188-193
  • 2012 Learn for Life, New Architecture for new Learning, p. 222-223
  • 2012 Public Construction, p. 164-171
  • 2011 Byggeri #3, p. 13
  • 2011 1000 x European Architecture, p. 36
  • 2011 Contemporary museums, p. 430-433
  • 2010 Darwin Centre anden fase
  • 2010 Architecture & DETAIL #2
  • 2010 IQD Inside Quality Design JAN-MARCH: The architecure of evolution, p. 2, 28-37
  • 2010 KTIPIO - Apxitektonikh + Design #7, p. 20-23
  • 2010 Temmuz 354 August, p. 2 + 14-17
  • 2009 Byggeri #10, p. 38
  • 2009 Glasmagasinet Transparent #1, forside + p. 12-14
  • 2009 Tegl #2, p. 26-29
  • 2009 Architecture & Culture #342, p. 56-67
  • 2009 Baumeister #B7, p. 34-41
  • 2009 Baumeister, B7 p. 34 - 41
  • 2009 Concept #127, p. 76-83 (Korea)
  • 2009 Concrete #10, p. 14-18
  • 2009 Designer & Designing #11: Contemporary Designers of Honkong and Taiwan, p. 60 - 67
  • 2009 Mur + Betong #1, p. 58-60
  • 2009 Natural History Museum, Evolve #1 p. 20-28
  • 2008 Arkitekten #3, p. 36-41, article by Anna Maria Indrio
  • 2008 Byggeri + Arkitektur #24, p. 50-51
  • 2008 AJ Specification, November 2008, p. 14-25
  • 2008 Building Magazine, p. 45-50
  • 2008 Concrete Quaterly #226, p. 12-15
  • 2008 The Observer Magazine p. 38-47
  • 2006 Global Danish Architecture #1, p. 162 - 165
  • 2006 Nykredits Arkitekturpris 1997-2006, p. 123, 126-127
  • 2004 ark.byg #8, p. 46 - 48
  • 2004 Arkitektur DK, #2, p. 210
  • 2004 Building Design: The Møller's Tale.
  • 2004 C.F. Møller: Samfund og Menneske
  • 2003 Arkitekten #7, p. 23
  • 2003 Hugh Aldersey-Williams: Zoomorphic. New animal architecture, p. 76-77
  • 2002 Arkitekten #1, p. 9 Dansk kokon i London
  • 2002 Arkitekten #4, p. 2-5 En svævende puppe

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