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“Starchitect” buys Design Museum

Design Museum
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Female architecture icon Zaha Hadid is to open an architecture gallery on London’s South Bank, after buying the Design Museum from the Conran Foundation, as revealed by Property Week in June 2012.

The architect behind the London 2012 Aquatics Centre and China’s Guangzhou Opera House is thought to have bought the 34,000 sq ft Bermondsey building to showcase sketches and plans that are gathering dust in storage.

The former banana warehouse in Shad Thames near Tower Bridge has housed the Design Museum since its founder, Sir Terence Conran, completed a modernist conversion of the block in 1989, as part of the wider regeneration of Butler’s Wharf.

The site at Shad Thames in Southwark was put up for sale by the Conran Foundation ahead of the museum’s move to a new site across the capital at the Commonwealth Institute.

She is thought to have financial backing and is thought to be paying around £10m for the lease, which is held on a peppercorn rent from freeholder Galliard Homes.

Museum director Deyan Sudjic said: “Whilst we are sad to be leaving Shad Thames we are leaving the building in the best possible hands. The sale is a significant moment in the museum’s relocation plans and a substantial contribution towards our new home.”