Foster’s war museum revamp wins approval

The first phase of Foster + Partners’ revamp of the Imperial War Museum in London has been approved by the local authority.

The initial phase will reconfiguring the building’s central hall and create a series of galleries to commemorate the centenary of the First World War in 2014.

Blind brick arches along the western facade will be reopened, forging new connections between the building and Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park and allowing the museum café to extend outside.

Work is planned to begin at the end of the year and the museum will close temporarily in 2013. Future phases include proposals for a new entrance, scooped out of the existing forecourt, and major new exhibition spaces.

The museum was founded during the First World War as a lasting memorial to those involved in the conflict.

Michael Jones, partner at Foster + Partners, said: “We are delighted that Southwark Council gave unanimous approval to the first phase of our masterplan.

“The design will allow IWM to display its collection more effectively by bringing clarity to the existing buildings, enlarging the galleries and offering visitors a better understanding of the museum and its collection.”