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Old December 2nd, 2010, 03:02 PM   #2021
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It's still a lot better than its current state. The buildings are clean, no street clutter, etc.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 07:39 PM   #2022
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Axa to build new City office scheme

A derelict site close to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London that has lain vacant during the financial crisis looks set to be finally redeveloped after a deal between Axa Real Estate and the site's owner, Iranian-born collector and philanthropist Nasser D Khalili.

Khalili's Favermead has entered into a partnership with Axa Real Estate, the Paris-based fund manager, which has €39.5bn of assets under management, to develop 60 Holborn Viaduct. The site, which is next to law firm Hogan Lovell's headquarters on Holborn Viaduct, will be redeveloped into a 215,000 sq ft office space called The Wave.

Khalili, who is ranked 937 in this year’s Forbes’ list of world billionaires with an estimated net worth of $1bn, is known for owning the world's largest private collection of Islamic art. He is also famed for spending five years and £90m restoring two dilapidated buildings in Kensington Palace Gardens to their former glory, which are now occupied by Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal.

His company was granted permission to redevelop the site, formerly Bath House, in December 2007. Favermead had come close to selling the site to property developers before the financial crisis, however, the deals fell through and the site continued to lie unoccupied.

However, the partnership has come at a time of increased demand for office space in the City of London, as confidence returns to the financial district and as vacancy levels have fallen due to increased take-up from financial occupiers. The Wave is expected to be completed before the end of 2013.

A statement from Axa Real Estate said: “The transaction allows the partnership to deliver a new Grade A office building at a timely point in the market cycle, when a rapidly diminishing supply of this type of product is not expected to match demand.”

The deal will be the first transaction in the UK for Axa Real Estate’s DVIII fund, which was launched in July following a first close of €230m. The tie-up between Favermead and Axa Real Estate follows similar decisions by two other developers to resume construction on City projects.

In October, Land Securities and the Canary Wharf Group confirmed a joint venture with Chinese and Qatari sovereign wealth funds to develop a 150m-high skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street, nicknamed the Walkie Talkie. The same month, British Land confirmed it would be reviving plans to build the Cheesegrater, a 740ft skyscraper on Leadenhall Street, with backing from a Canadian pension fund.

Both buildings are expected to be completed by 2014.
http://www.efinancialnews.com/story/...olborn-viaduct
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 09:11 PM   #2023
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Great updates as per usual.

I am going to admit, however, that I really don't like how the Battersea Power Station is going to be surrounded by buildings like that. I think that's a mistake and future generations are going to regret it.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 11:43 PM   #2024
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Originally Posted by thryve View Post
Great updates as per usual.

I am going to admit, however, that I really don't like how the Battersea Power Station is going to be surrounded by buildings like that. I think that's a mistake and future generations are going to regret it.
Could not agree more! Isn't it amazing that an industrial building of the past is far superior in design to modern residential/office buildings now proposed for the adjoining site. These look like typical spec rubbish that will look tacky in less than 20 years after they are built.
Rubbish developments should be thrown out as simply not good enough.
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Old December 5th, 2010, 04:20 PM   #2025
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Berkeley out to beat the forecasts on lift to £62m

Wealthy London buyers helped housebuilder Berkeley turn in knockout results today and put the firm on track to top management hopes this year.


Wealth boost: sales of luxury flats are booming

Berkeley has snapped up around 2500 plots this year, including prime London sites in Westminster and Hammersmith, and is on the lookout for more in the right places where the supply shortage is at its most acute. It has a cash pile of more than £250 million.

Around 60% of Berkeley's sales are flats in zones one and two and managing director Rob Perrins said the market in the capital and the South-East remained resilient despite an “elusive” wider recovery. “You can't generalise about this market. If you're building flats in Belgravia or houses in Ascot they will sell. Flats in Ipswich might not do so well. It's not just about a North-South divide, it's about access to finance and ability to buy as well,” he said.

Perrins is frustrated by the mortgage drought and the chaotic planning system but reckons the biggest risk to recovery is an “Irish moment”, an external shock which could force up long-term interest rates.

The firm, chaired by industry veteran Tony Pidgley, pushed up pre-tax profits 18.5% to £61.6 million in the half-year to October 31, selling 1249 homes at an average £262,000. It is confident of surpassing previous full-year expectations, which will see analysts mark up forecasts of £122 million.

Berkeley is selling from 30% more sites than six months ago and plans to increase that by another 15% in the second half.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...erty-market.do
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Old December 5th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #2026
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From fellow member's blog, Leytonstonia:

UBS and British Land's Broadgate Estate set for 13-storey groundscraper at 5 Broadgate

New details have emerged about British Land and joint venture partner, Blackstone's plans for 5 Broadgate, the 700,000 sq ft office building set to become the new London headquarters for the Swiss bank, UBS. It is planned that the new tower will consist of 13 storeys, which will include two floors of plant and three basement levels. This will put it at broadly the same height as the nearby 201 Bishopsgate, and almost double that of the existing seven floor buildings on site.

To meet the 65,000 sq ft trading floors required by UBS however, it is likely that the development will have to cover the total footprint of both 4 and 6 Broadgate, making it something of a groundscraper and far larger than the elegant Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed, 201 Bishopsgate, also part of the Broadgate Estate.

5 Broadgate will include some ground floor activity, yet this is unlikely to be retail space open to the public. British Land and Blackstone are however, also looking at redevelopment options for Broadgate Circle, home to the Broadgate Arena, with the aim of increasing the quality and size of the retail element on offer there, part of a broader redevelopment plan for the Estate that will also likely include 1-2 and 8-12 Broadgate, 100 Liverpool Street and 1,2 and 3 Finsbury Avenue in the mid term, where the weighted average lease term is approximately five years.

At present the Broadgate Circle consists of several small independent retailers, a Post Office and a branch of the sandwich chain, EAT. Corney and Barrow occupy the entire top level.

The current buildings at 4 and 6 Broadgate are now being actively vacated with demolition scheduled to commence next summer. A planning application is expected to be submitted by British Land and the schemes architect, Make in the new year.

http://www.leytonstonia.com/2010/12/...te-estate.html
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Old December 6th, 2010, 01:22 PM   #2027
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Video of a new hotel development in Greenwich Peninsula:

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Old December 7th, 2010, 11:02 PM   #2028
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Bloomberg to build new European headquarters in City

Bloomberg is to construct a new 500,000 sq ft European headquarters in the City, providing a major vote of confidence for the Square Mile. The US media group has reached an agreement with Legal & General to buy its Walbrook Square site, where Bloomberg plans to build a new base designed by Lord Foster.

Peter Grauer, the company's chairman, said: "Bloomberg's London headquarters has always been an integral part of the company. This new project underscores our commitment to London and to expanding our presence in this world-class financial capital."

Bloomberg aims to begin work on its headquarters in 2012 with completion in 2015. Alongside development partner Tishman Speyer, Bloomberg will also construct a speculative office building at the site. The financial terms of the deal with Legal & General have not been disclosed.

Bloomberg currently houses 2,300 employees at Finsbury Square and has long been looking for a larger UK base. Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said: "This shows that when it comes to financial and media services, London continues to lead the way in attracting the best in the business."

The deal has been struck as research from Ipsos Mori and Cushman & Wakefield, the property agent, shows 71pc of large companies based in London are looking to expand. The survey of 300 businesses claimed the City was still attractive due to the quality of staff and proximity to customers.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...s-in-City.html
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Old December 8th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #2029
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Office rents soar as new skyscrapers rise in city

UBS did it in the summer and now, just months later, Bloomberg has followed suit. One after the other, the two have decided to put money in the City. We are not talking about some fancy new financial instrument. No – the pair have decided to invest in bricks and mortar in London's Square Mile, heralding a revival in the capital's office market.



Back in August, the Swiss investment bank agreed a deal to house its new London headquarters on the sprawling Broadgate Estate, owned by the developer British Land and the fund manager Blackstone.

Two existing buildings will be knocked down, paving the way for a new unit boasting more than 700,000 square feet of floor space for the Swiss group's legion of traders and bankers. UBS will rent the property at an initial headline rate of £54.50 per square foot on a weighted average lease of around 18 years.

Earlier this week, we learnt that Bloomberg was following suit with plans for its own European head office in Walbrook Square. The financial-information provider said it had agreed to buy the site, a stone's throw from the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, from Legal & General, and planned to build two new buildings – one to house its offices and one a speculative development. The architect, Lord Foster's firm Foster and Partners, has been drafted in to design the new headquarters, which will contain more than 500,000 square feet of office space.

The investments come against a pick-up in developments. Commuters passing by London Bridge will have noticed the growth of the Shard, the giant, 72-storey glass-and-steel tower which, when it is completed in 2012, will, at 310 metres (1,017 ft), be Europe's tallest building, and which has been going up at a breakneck, Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-like pace in recent months.

It is part of the London Bridge Quarter, which will cover approximately 2 million square feet of mixed-use space. It will consist of the Shard, and the London Bridge Place office building. When completed, the latter will boast a gross area of 600,000 square feet.

Beyond the Shard, there is the 242m (794ft) Heron Tower, which is due for completion next year, and the Leadenhall Building, nicknamed the "Cheese Grater" owing to its wedge-like shape, which is due to be completed in 2014. In the coming years, City folk can also look forward to the Pinnacle, otherwise known as Bishopsgate Tower or the "Helter Skelter", and the so-called "Walkie Talkie" at 20 Fenchurch Street.

But the developments do not mean that the City will suddenly be awash with excess office space. In fact, the supply-side picture remains encouraging, as the development pipeline was effectively turned off when the economy slumped two years ago, according to the real-estate consultant DTZ, which expects prime City rents to rise to £67.5 per square foot by the end of 2014.

For 2010, prime City rents are expected to end the year at £55 per square foot, up by more than 26 per cent on the £43.50 at the end of 2009, according to DTZ. Take-up has also been strong, with people acquiring some 5.7 million square feet of space so far this year. Interestingly, that figure excludes the Bloomberg Walbrook announcement, which, if factored in, would take the total for 2010 to over 6 million square feet, comfortably above the long-term average of 5 million per year.

The gains in the London office segment have been driven by a combination of limited supply of space coming on to the market and strong demand from the financial-services industry, which has taken up more than 50 per cent of the space in the City. Lawyers and insurance firms, have also supported the market, according to DTZ. The strength is reflected in figures complied by the commercial-property researchers at Investment Property Databank (IPD), who also highlight the volatility of the City market. On IPD's numbers, the peak-to-trough slump in capital values in City offices was 45.5 per cent, while West End offices and the broader property market experienced a 42.4 per cent decline during the recent slump. But if City office prices fell fast, they also swiftly rebounded as the economy and investors began to regain composure.

Values bounced back by 23 per cent in the 15-month period from the beginning of the third quarter of last year to the end of September this year. The West End had a stronger, 27.1 per cent rebound. The broader market, on the other hand, recovered by only 17.4 per cent .

The one gauge that sums up the story, according to Phil Tily, IPD's UK & Ireland managing director, is the yield on prime central London offices. It has compressed back to pre-credit crunch levels, he says, adding: "Strong demand from financial services and [a] slowdown in the supply of new space ... [has] created a perfect cocktail."

Looking ahead, Land Securities, the FTSE 100-listed group behind the "Walkie Talkie" , expects demand to stay firm, pointing to factors such as the higher-than-normal level of lease expiries due from 2013, particularly in the City, and growing demand for new or newly upgraded properties as tenants seek more energy-efficient and better-equipped buildings. The developer is not alone. The analysts at Morgan Stanley are also hopeful about the road ahead. In a recent circular to clients, they put City offices ahead of shops, shopping centres, retail warehouses and industrial properties, forecasting 8 per cent rental growth next year.

Their predictions for the West End office market are similarly bullish, while overall, they expect the broader market to see rental growth of 5 per cent. The outperformance is expected to persist, with City and West End offices forecast to record higher-than-average growth of 5 per cent in 2012. In contrast, the overall property market is expected to see 4 per cent growth.

"We think that in 2011 London offices will be yet again the strongest-performing asset class," they said, no doubt inducing a satisfied smile or two at UBS and Bloomberg.

London offices in figures

5.7 million The amount, in square feet, of City office space taken up so far this year. The long-term average is 5 million per year.

£55 The level per square foot at which prime City rents are expected to end 2010.

26 per cent The anticipated rise in prime City rents this year. They stood at £43.50 per per square foot at the end of 2009.

45.5 per cent The peak-to-trough decline in capital values in the City office market during the recession.

23 per cent The recovery in values in the 15 months to September.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...y-2154178.html
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Old December 8th, 2010, 06:30 PM   #2030
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CZWG's £180m east London market redevelopment breaks ground

Work on the redevelopment of Rathbone Market in east London got underway today.



The mayor of Newham, Robin Wales, was due to break ground in a ceremony at the site in Canning Town. The first phase of the scheme, designed by CZWG, will provide 271 homes and will be completed by late summer 2012.

It is part of the Canning Town & Custom House Regeneration Programme which will expand the town centres of Canning Town and Custom House, create more homes and improve links across the A13 and between the bus and rail station. The aim is also to invest in infrastructure, services and community facilities.

The ceremony was also due to be attended by Michael Lyons and Bob Lane who chair the English Cities Fund and London Thames Gateway Development Corporation – respectively the developer and one of the scheme’s financial backers.

Stallholders have been relocated and will continue to trade throughout the work.
http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/uk/cz...010010.article
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Old December 8th, 2010, 06:52 PM   #2031
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European Union’s new UK headquarter offices officially opened

The European Parliament Information Office and the European Commission Representation in the UK recently moved into shared offices in Westminster at Europe House, Smith Square, SW1, a stone's throw from the Houses of Parliament.

Today the new offices in Central London, formerly the offices of the Conservative party, were officially opened by EU president Jerzy Buzek, VP of the commission Sim Kallas and UK foreign minister William Hague.

The building will be the first port of call for any citizen seeking information about the two institutions and the EU in general, and for organisations that are interested in organizing discussions, meetings and events with an EU theme. To celebrate the official opening of Europe House, the European Parliament and the European Commission have organised a range of events in December including workshops, concerts and debates.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...r=December2010
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Old December 8th, 2010, 07:09 PM   #2032
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Kadoories buy $112m London property

One of Hong Kong's wealthiest families is close to buying a prized building in London as yet more money from Asian investors pours into London.

Old Park Lane Management, a company backed by the billionaire Kadoorie family, is close to buying 25-27 St George Street off Hanover Square in the heart of London's West End. The building is being sold by Aegon Asset Management, the life insurance and pension company, which holds the building through its GP Nominees fund subsidiary.

Old Park Lane is thought to be paying between £70 million ($112m) and £75 million for the building, which comprises a mix of office space and five high-end apartments.

If the purchase completes, it will be the latest desirable freehold Mayfair property to be added to the Kadoorie family trust's extensive property portfolio. Through Old Park Lane it is believed to own the freehold of 440 The Strand - the headquarters of Coutts & Co, the Queen's banker.

The Iraqi-Jewish family, headed by Sir Michael Kadoorie, regularly features on the Forbes Rich List and is renowned for its diverse business interests and philanthropic ventures. In the 2009 Forbes Rich List Sir Michael had an estimated net worth of $US4.2 billion ($4.27bn).

Originally Sephardic Jews from Baghdad, the founder of the Kadoorie business empire was Sir Elly Kadoorie, who emigrated to Shanghai more than a century ago. He set up an electricity business called China Power & Light and expanded throughout China and Hong Kong. The family still holds a stake of about 35 per cent in the company, which remains a leading supplier of electricity in Hong Kong and China.

Sir Elly's sons, Lord Lawrence and Sir Horace, took over the business from their father based in Hong Kong and were "taipans" widely credited with pushing forward industrialisation in the former British colony. Sir Lawrence was the first man born in Hong Kong to be named to the House of Lords. The family has had its share of troubles holding on to the fortune. After Japan seized Hong Kong in 1942, the family was kept in a prison camp, where the father died. However, the family remained in the region and was instrumental in postwar reconstruction.

The business has since been handed over to Lawrence's son Sir Michael, who has continued to expand its operations. He is chairman of Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels and CLP Holdings. The family has extensive property holdings across the world but it is keen on buying and retaining key properties, which it holds on a long-term basis.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news...-1225967439152
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Old December 8th, 2010, 07:30 PM   #2033
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London Luxury-Home Values Climb as Purchasers From Euro Region Seek Haven

London luxury-home values rose in November for the first time in five months as the debt crisis in the euro region prompted more buyers to compete for a dwindling number of homes for sale, Knight Frank LLP said.



Prices of houses and apartments costing at least 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) rose 0.9 percent from October, the London- based property broker said in a statement today. The annual gain was 11 percent, the smallest since January.

“There’s a belief that London is impregnable,” said Jeremy McGivern, a founder of Mercury Home Search. “The euro zone represents a big percentage of the overseas buyers,” said McGivern, who advises the wealthy on buying homes in central London.

Continental Europeans seeking a home in central London increased by 23 percent from a year ago, led by investors from Italy and Spain, Knight Frank estimates. Many of them regard London as a “safe haven,” according to Liam Bailey, the head of residential research.

On Nov. 29, Ireland became the second country in the euro region after Greece to get a bailout from the European Union to rescue its banks and bolster state finances. The EU sought to prevent a debt crisis from spreading to other countries that use the single currency.

Knightsbridge Sale

Rupert des Forges, a partner in Knight Frank’s Knightsbridge sales office, said he sold an apartment near Harrods department store last month for 14 percent more than the asking price. The 1,043 square-foot (96 square-meter) property, which is in need of modernization, went for 2 million pounds.

One of the five unsuccessful bidders for the property, south of Hyde Park, was an Italian family that since July has purchased 10 properties in the city, Des Forges said. He declined to name the family or the other would-be buyers.

“Wealthy families and funds take the view that prime central London is a gold-standard investment,” he said. “It’s a defensive position that provides a hedge for the euro going wrong.”

The pound’s slide against other currencies since the financial crisis escalated in September 2007 added to the attraction of London homes to overseas buyers after a 25 percent decline in prime residential property values.

Overseas Buyers

Purchasers from outside the UK account for about 60 percent of luxury property transactions in central London, Knight Frank estimates. For those based in the euro region, prices are 14 percent below the peak of two years ago.

Des Forges said that the number of buyers in November totaled 20 to 30 from each of the euro-region countries. “It’s a micro market, but their impact is significant,” he said.

A shrinking supply of luxury homes on the market contributed to last month’s price increase. In three of the most popular London neighborhoods -- Belgravia, Chelsea and Knightsbridge -- the number of properties for sale has dropped by 32 percent from a year ago, Knight Frank said.

Overall, the volume of luxury-property sales is about half the average of 2003 to 2006, according to Property Vision, a unit of HSBC Private Bank that advises the lender’s wealthy customers on buying a home.

“Supply is very tight,” said Charlie Ellingworth, one of London-based Property Vision’s founders.

Knight Frank compiles its luxury-homes index from estimated values of properties in the Mayfair, St. John’s Wood, Regent’s Park, Kensington, Notting Hill, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and South Bank neighborhoods of London.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-1...afe-haven.html
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Old December 8th, 2010, 07:52 PM   #2034
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Old December 8th, 2010, 08:06 PM   #2035
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Cannon Street Station

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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #2036
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Lewisham Regeneration

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Old December 8th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #2037
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Fixnetix set to open second London office

Fixnetix has announced plans to accommodate its expanding staff by opening new office space in the City of London.

The company, which provides low latency market data to financial institutions, will retain its Victoria headquarters and launch a second base in the capital's banking district.

Chief executive Hugh Hughes said the new premises will help Fixnetix to respond to client demands and improve its services for investment banks, hedge funds and proprietary trading customers.

"Adding a second London office helps keep pace with the growth of our global company and will positively impact business," he commented. "Our customer base depends on us for the quickest service and support."

The company also has US offices in Boston and Chicago. Fixnetix can be found in 29 co-location and proximity hosting centres to support trading across Europe and the US. The firm has announced the appointments of Alan Yarrow and Bob Fuller to its board of directors in recent months.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...r=December2010
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Old December 8th, 2010, 11:04 PM   #2038
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Walbrook Square

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Old December 9th, 2010, 03:49 PM   #2039
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Old December 9th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #2040
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Museum put on new war footing with £71m rebuild

The Imperial War Museum today unveiled a major rebuilding plan to tie in with the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.



The museum, which this year expects to attract one million visitors for the first time to its Lambeth base, needs to raise £71 million.

Under a masterplan, by architects Foster + Partners, its First World War galleries will double in size and a new atrium will be created by 2014. This will be followed by a new sunken entrance, incorporating the giant naval guns at the front of the building, and the transformation of the west side of the building by 2019.

With the death of the last of the First World War veterans last year, the museum wants to revisit the way it explains the Great War to future generations.

Larger galleries will allow more exhibits to be displayed, with interactive technology helping to explain the exhibits. James Taylor, the historian leading the new gallery project, said: “We used to be able to rely on folk memory. That has now disappeared — something that was underscored last year with the deaths of the last veterans Henry Allingham and Harry Patch.

"One of the things we really want to do with our new gallery is to look not just at the conflict but to take the temperature in London in 1900 to 1914. Britain was a country torn by social strife.” The museum moved to its current home in 1936. Formerly the Bethlem Royal Hospital — better known as Bedlam — the site was provided by the first Viscount Rothermere. The new galleries will be laid out in a more chronological way, leading visitors through a “century of conflict”.

The changes could allow the museum's picture gallery, which features major works such as Gassed by John Singer Sargent, to be seen by more visitors. At present Sargent's startling image of the helpless victims of a mustard gas attack is tucked away in a side room. The museum hopes major donors will come forward and is also hopeful of attracting Lottery funding. Work will be phased as money is raised. Some £29 million is needed for the first phase, and £42 million for the work post-2014.

The museum's archive holds 10,000 hours of videotape, 56,000 hours of sound recordings and 15,000 collections of unpublished letters and diaries.
Diane Lees, the museum's director-general, said: “I can't think of a more fitting way to start the transformation than with the creation of new galleries to mark the First World War centenary in 2014.”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...71m-rebuild.do
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