Horizons Gallery, Science Museum

According to the brief: ‘The Science Museum is seeking to create a step-change in how we excite, inspire and engage our audiences with current science, technology and innovation.

Founded in 1857, the Science Museum relocated to its current location in the early twentieth century and is now one of London’s most popular visitor attractions. Originally designed by Richard Allison, the museum has been extended several times in the 1960s, 1980s and finally with the addition of the Wellcome Wing by MJP Architects in 2000.

Bids to deliver the latest contract will be evaluated 70 per cent on quality and 30 per cent on cost. Applicants must hold employer’s Liability Insurance of £5 million, Public Liability Insurance of £10 million and Professional Indemnity Insurance of £5 million.

The Science Museum is seeking a thoughtful restoration of this historic space with sustainability and the visitor experience at the forefront. Horizons Gallery will be the Science Museum’s new landmark gallery exploring how today’s scientific discoveries are shaping our future.

Other competition-winning schemes under development include a suite of medical galleries by WilkinsonEyre which opened in November, an events space by Duggan Morris (completed by Mary Duggan Architects), an auditorium by Dow Jones Architects and an entrance by HAT Projects.

Shortlisted teams will each receive a £1,500 honorarium to participate in the second phase of the competition during which initial design thoughts in response to the brief will be required.

Competition details

The project, backed by Science Museum Group and planned to complete in 2026, will transform a large ground floor gallery space which currently houses the South Kensington museum’s long-running Exploring Space exhibition.

‘It will be the destination for our audiences to discover and learn about the most exciting and impactful science stories transforming lives today and extending what we know about ourselves, our planet and our universe.’

The team selected for the estimated £274,000 contract will design and deliver a new Horizons Gallery exploring the impact of contemporary science on society.

‘The museum is looking to appoint an architect and exhibition design team to help deliver this vision by transforming one of our most prominent and highly visited locations, currently home to the Exploring Space gallery.

The project is the latest instalment in the museum’s £60 million regeneration masterplan, which included Zaha Hadid Architects’ mathematics gallery, which opened in 2017. The first scheme in the masterplan, a library and research centre by Coffey Architects, completed in March 2016, while an interactive gallery by Muf opened in 2017.

Project title Horizons Gallery ​Lead Designer, Architect, Exhibition Designer​
Client Science Museum Group
Contract value £3.3 million-to-£3.7 million
First round deadline 2pm, 22 November 2023
Restrictions Applicants must provide details of up to three contracts, in any combination from either the public or private sector; voluntary, charity or social enterprise that are relevant to the requirement
More information https://www.find-tender.service.gov.uk/Notice/031204-2023