In 2019 we completed a new £3.5m supporters centre for the Science Museum, created from a former Royal Mail sorting office and yard behind the main concourse of the museum. The Smith Centre has been conceived as a generous, inviting 'salon' for socialising, events, lectures and dinners. The practice restored and revived the original materials and form of the Sorting Office, and created an elegant, richly coloured sequence of rooms including a number of smaller meeting rooms and a new boardroom for the Museum, leading to a courtyard created from the delivery yard, which is partly sheltered by the original Victorian glazed roof.
We have complemented the palette of found materials - glazed brick, parquet, steel and timber carefully restored - with new elements that are simple but finely detailed, to create a salon atmosphere that will be complemented by displays of unusual objects from the Museum's collections - including a large-scale oil painting, a dramatic ship model, a spacesuit and a rocket - all helping to show the breadth of the Museum's heritage. This major project, won in competition, is now open, along with our recently completed refurbishment of the Groups Entrance for the Museum.