Designs for new Museum of London under spotlight at ‘Cultural Conversation’

William Russell, Lord Mayor of the City of London, will today (24 June 2020) host an online discussion, which explores the ways in which Museum directors and architects work together to create visionary projects.

Focusing on the new Museum of London, which is scheduled to open in West Smithfield by 2024, the conversation will examine the broader role that museums have in place-making and shaping the future of cities.

The free event is open to all and organised by the City of London Corporation and The Genesis Foundation, and comes following yesterday’s decision by the City Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee to approve designs for the new Museum.

The event, which takes place from 5pm to 6.30pm on Zoom and includes a public Q&A, is chaired by Tim Marlow OBE, Chief Executive and Director of the Design Museum; OBE; with designer, Asif Khan MBE; and Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London. Pre-registration is required – book via

The discussion is the second of three ‘cultural conversations’ that form part of the Lord Mayor’s mayoral theme - ‘Global UK – Trade, Innovation & Culture’, which aims to grow global trade and investment opportunities, champion innovation, and promote a rich and vibrant cultural and creative economy.

Lord Mayor William Russell said:

Like many others, I am hugely excited by plans for the new Museum of London at West Smithfield. It will be a real asset for Londoners, showcasing the capital’s vibrant and diverse history.

“It is fitting therefore that this incredible project forms the basis for our second cultural conservation, which I’m sure will be a stimulating discussion.

“I urge all those with an interest in history, art and design to tune in.”

Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London, said:

“At the Museum of London, we’re thinking hard and creatively about the role of a new museum in West Smithfield and how we not only tell the story of London and Londoners through the ages, but how we can also be a force for good for Londoners and visitors alike.

“From the physicality of the buildings themselves to the public realm and the stories we will tell, the designs reflect our ambitions to be a civic space for people to share ideas, learn and have fun and I’m looking forward to exploring these themes with Asif and Tim in more detail.”

The City of London Corporation, which is headed by Lord Mayor William Russell, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year.

The City Corporation is also developing Culture Mile - a new home for contemporary culture in the ancient heart of London’s working capital. Led by the City of London Corporation, with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London, together they are creating a vibrant cultural and creative area in the north-west corner of the Square Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate.

This investment in a new cultural and creative destination for London includes £197m funding to support the Museum of London’s move to West Smithfield and £6.8m to support the detailed business case for the proposed Centre for Music.


Notes for Editors:

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK. 

About The Genesis Foundation:

Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation supports programmes that nurture the careers of outstanding young artists. In partnership with leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as the Almeida Theatre, LAMDA, National Theatre, Young Vic and The Sixteen, it provides and enhances opportunities for directors, playwrights, actors and musicians at key stages in their professional lives. It also awards the bi-annual Genesis Prize, the only arts award to focus on mentors and the vital role that they play in an artist's development. The Foundation's work is increasingly characterised by the theme of art & faith. Recent highlights include the performance in the Sistine Chapel of James MacMillan's Stabat mater which, along with several other pieces by MacMillan, numbers among the 25 sacred music works that the Genesis Foundation has commissioned. These have been performed and recorded primarily by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen.

About The Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The Museum of London is on the move. We want to tell the extraordinary story of London and Londoners in a new museum in West Smithfield, which itself is a deeply fascinating and historic area. We want to engage Londoners with their city and its history and display many more objects from our rich collection. Further information about the move and plans so far: 

About Culture Mile:

Culture Mile is a corner of London’s working capital, where creativity is fast becoming the most valuable currency. The City of London Corporation, together with the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and the Museum of London, are leading the animation of the whole neighbourhood with imaginative collaborations and events. Culture Mile brings commerce and culture together in a wealth of creativity. Known meets unknown. Ancient and modern collide as the streets are activated by exhibitions, gigs, pop-ups and events. So, whether you’re with family, friends or flying solo, there’s something for everyone. And thanks to Crossrail’s new Elizabeth line connections at Farringdon and Moorgate, the area will be more connected than ever. Join us today where two thousand years of history collide with the world’s best culture.