The Horniman is an attractive and busy museum in South London, very well used by schools and families, with over 50% of its visitors under the age of ten.The Horniman Museum and Gardens were given to the people of London for their 'recreation, instruction and enjoyment' in 1901 by Victorian tea trader Frederick John Horniman. His wealth allowed him to ‘bring the world to Forest Hill’ in the form of a Collection that covers Natural History, Anthropology and Musical Instruments. The Museum has 16.5 acres of Gardens, which were an integral part of Horniman’s gift.
LUC was commissioned to create a vision for the Gardens as part of a £2.3m redevelopment with major funding from the HLF and Big Lottery Fund. We coordinated and led the masterplan, research and development of new facilities, including securing the funding, and then planned the implementation.
When developing the masterplan, we were keen to bring together the existing ideas of this well-established institution and also look at things in a new way. We acknowledged Horniman’s wish for the gardens to be integral to the experience, by bringing elements of the museum collection outside into the landscape. Learning at the Horniman has always been a major part of the visitor experience and this element now continues throughout the gardens, including the new world food garden where the ‘living collection’ planted by the museum gardeners represents the importance of plants in our everyday lives.
The gardens, which reopened in Spring 2012, now feature a new musical play area, a new pavilion with panoramic views of London, a renovated bandstand and Dutch Barn, a world food garden and a re-designed animal enclosure. The client said: "We feel that with this new project we have truly honoured Horniman’s vision and wishes".
Find out more about the Horniman Museum here