Contractor is already advising on £80m scheme

Mace is in pole position to be appointed main contractor on the £80m scheme to convert London’s former Commonwealth Institute building into the new Design Museum.

Peter Rogers, director at developer Chelsfield Partners, confirmed that Mace is already providing pre-construction advice on the prestigious project. Specialist contractor Keltbray is advising on the demolition work and consulting engineer Sandberg is responsible for testing the state of the existing sixties structure, near High Street Kensington.

The Commonwealth Institute, a grade II*-listed structure designed by RMJM and built by Laing in 1962, is famous for its parabolic roof. It will become home to the Design Museum in 2014.

Rogers said Mace had been appointed for “pre-construction work” but no decisions had yet been made on construction with a bidding process for the enabling and temporary works contract to start in the next month.

He said this part of the job would begin in April with that contractor likely to then provide the main contracting work itself.
“It’s whether we use a contractor to do the enabling works and then bring in a ‘Mace’,” he said. “None of this has gone out for pricing yet … if Mace behaves themselves they may stay on, but it’s all down to pricing.”

QS on the scheme is Davis Langdon with Arup acting as engineer. John Pawson Architects is designing the new interior with separate housing by OMA and Allies & Morrison.