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Imperial War Museum, London


As an iconic, British landmark, the Imperial War Museum is steeped in a rich history. We were chosen to manage this historic building when it needed skilfully updating and maintaining to protect it for the future.

The Brief

Based on Lambeth Road, South London, the museum has stood proud since 1936, but as with any historic building, over time areas began to show signs of wear. Thousands of visitors walk through the site every year so it’s essential that it’s kept to the highest standard, maintaining the building’s grand look and feel.

We were appointed as in-house architects for the museum to carry out several feasibility studies and reports, as well as overseeing the maintenance projects on site. 

Our reports formed the basis of a number of projects, including:

  • roof renovation works
  • general maintenance
  • any Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requirements that the museum wished to undertake

Our Solution

We found the key to success with these challenging projects was communication. We worked behind-the-scenes during the museum’s daily life, giving us a unique insight into how clear the building operated. 

We aligned ourselves with the facilities management to use this knowledge productively, proposing schemes that interacted with private and public spaces, circulation, services and exhibition areas, all of which constantly changed with each new exhibit.

The separate projects have been a huge achievement for the Imperial War Museum (IWM) London and they were delighted the building was able to run as it always had without any major disruption.

Along with the main Lambeth site, we also carried out small appointments to the adjacent Annex buildings, HMS Belfast and the Cabinet war rooms

Lawray Architects are an affable bunch of people, easy to work with yet still very professional. That’s especially useful for clients who aren’t used to the everyday business of design, contractors and tenders. They approach the job and client as you would like to think you would do yourself with anyone working in unfamiliar territory.

Daniel Shaw

Torch Theatre General Manager