Following from on the from the launch of the second round of public consultation for Old Oak Park today , an early stage vision to regenerate the land currently occupied by second hand retailer Car Giant amongst others. News that a “well-known household name is committed” to moving to a new purpose built 500,000sq ft base in north-west London. News of this has kept me busy with speculation to who this could be. I don’t see any harm in predicting the future , so here’s my thoughts in no particular order;
London Transport Museum
Currently situated in Covent Garden , the current experience is cramped and outdated for me. The same institution regularly holds open days at their Acton Town depot whereby transport enthusiasts young and old gather and is increasingly popular with families. This could enable the museum to display an elective mix of transport parafrenular all under one roof. Whilst at the same time Transport for London’s funding is also being slashed by central government , selling its museum base in the heart of the West End would give it a much cash injection and would free up the land for much office space which needs it. If this was so , this wouldn’t be the first time Transport for London has taken the plunge to relocate to an regeneration area with their move from SW1 to Stratford due before the end of the decade.
Currently it resides as one of the three in the museums in the museum triangle in South Kensington. In recent times it’s endless renovation , somewhat suggests that its bursting at the seams. The government body tasked with regenerating Old Oak and Park Royal has suggested that it could become an incubator for clean-tech companies , a move to NW10 would make sense given that Imperial College London is also currently building a west london campus at Imperial West , White City. Whether the Science Museum would want to waste the money recently spent on upgrading there exhibition space’s makes it seem less likely. However it would slot in well with the vision of the Old Oak Park Royal development corporation (OPDC)
Museum of London
Admittedly this one is very unlikely because Museum of London (MoL) has already committed to moving its current base in Barbican to a redeveloped Smithfield Market by 2021 at a cost of £70m. Although the team behind Old Oak Park; London and Regional the developers and PLP who were appointed the master planners have in the consultation documents alluded to celebrating the area’s industrial heritage and even an passenger river taxi has been suggested too. Whilst canceling the Museum of London move to Smithfield seems unlikely , perhaps even a replacement for the Museum of London Docklands is possible wide a more general focus on London’s waterways to include the Grand Union Canal which runs through the south of Old Oak Park is equally plausible.
To much surprise the Science Museum will eventually move from its South Kensington base to Old Oak Park albeit until 2030 at the latest as Old Oak Park is very much still in it’s infancy. The move will allow the Science Museum to expand from its current 170,000sq ft to a new space in which will nearly treble its existing floorspace. Expect more details to be fleshed out in late February or early March.