Dan Pearson confirmed for Garden Museum redesign

Lambeth Council has awarded London's Garden Museum a £300,000 grant towards new learning spaces built around a new public garden designed by Dan Pearson.

The grant will support the construction of two new learning spaces at the museum, the creation of a new garden open for free to the public, and new galleries exploring the local heritage of St Mary’s at Lambeth.

The museum closed in October for the construction phase of a £6.6 million project to restore and refurbish the interior of the church, and to build an extension in the form of a cloister around the garden.

The extension will be made up of two new pavilions for education, and a third for a bigger and brighter café. Inside the church five new galleries will tell the story of garden history, with over 1,200 objects from the collection on display for the first time. Currently the museum only has space to display 180 objects.

The garden will include a children's play area and will be designed for increased biodiversity.

A new local history trail will be created, and a Cabinet of Curiosities gallery will explore the story of the Tradescants who are buried in the church of St Mary-at-Lambeth.

Once complete the Museum will offer new publically accessible learning and study spaces, grow and deliver a more effective cultural offer to the community, and provide safe and inspiring spaces for Lambeth residents.

The works will safeguard St Mary’s Church, which is Lambeth’s second oldest building, and enable the museum to continue as an independent self-sustaining venture.

Museum director Christopher Woodward said: "The aim of the project is to show the collection of garden history inside the church and to build an extension for educational use. There will be a classroom for schools, with learning from early years to sixth form; in central London there are very few places where children can get their hands on plants and learn.

"And there will be a second studio for activities such as art and gardening and cooking; consultation in the north Lambeth community told us how much people wanted a bright, cheerful, flexible, and quiet space for activities like this. These spaces will be wrapped around the garden, which will be free to anyone during hours when the Museum is open.

"Thanks to this investment by Lambeth Council we are able to go ahead and instruct the builders, having reached our target of £6 million in pledges. The £300,000 has come at just the right time, and we are confident it will be of value to Lambeth residents for years to come."

The museum is now closed for building work and will re-open in early 2017. During closure it will continue with our programme of outreach with local schools and community groups.

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