Natural History Museum evolves £78m Darwin Centre

The Natural History Museum has unveiled its plans for its new meetings and events space, part of phase two of the £78m Darwin Centre development.

The museum describes the new space, set to open in September 2009, as its “most significant development since it moved to South Kensington in 1881”.

The venue will boast 16,000 square metres of floor space and head of events and catering at the Natural History Museum Zoë Watts, tells

“The Darwin Centre will provide a bright, modern events space to complement the historic architecture of Central Hall and the Earth galleries.

“Able to accommodate 150 guests for dinner and 300 guests for a cocktail reception, it will boast its own landscape garden with a gated entrance on Queens Gate, perfect for outdoor events.”

Watts says the new space will offer events clients a broader experience of the museum. “Guests can combine a reception in the Darwin Centre followed by dinner in Central Hall and there are endless event possibilities for combining the Darwin Centre and its garden with the exhibition spaces and galleries within the original museum building.”

The new space will be a 65-metre-long, eight-storey-high cocoon – the largest sprayed concrete, curved structure in Europe.

Back in the 1980s the museum identified the need for a new Life Science Campus to bring together the work of its entomology, zoology and botany departments in a new and exciting way, showing the public the work that goes on behind the scenes for the first time.

The first phase of the Darwin Centre opened in 2002 and a further eight years of design and construction will culminate in the realisation of the second phase this autumn.

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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