London Design Museum Auction Raises Over £1m For New Kensington Building

Phillips has successfully hosted a Design Auction to benefit the new Design Museum in Kensington London. The sale has raised over £1.1 million towards the construction costs of its new building. The museum, which moves to the former Commonwealth Institute on Kensington High Street and opens to the public on 24 November, received works donated to the auction from leading design figures including Stella McCartney, Jonathan Ive and Thomas Heatherwick. There was also support from around the world with donations from Alessandro Mendini, Mario Bellini and Antonio Citterio from Italy, the Campana Brothers from Brazil and Nendo from Japan. 

A total of 55 pieces were sold at the live and online auctions. The Small Spall III sculpture by Sir Antony Gormley achieved the highest bid of the night selling for £158,500. Ingrid Donat’s Biblotheque Quatre Saisons sold for £117,700 an auction record for the designer, and the Solar Clock by renowned architect David Adjaye for £110,500. 

Standout pieces in the auction included a set of three marble tables designed by Dame Zaha Hadid and donated by the Zaha Hadid Foundation shortly before her untimely death, which sold for £106,900. Jonathan Ive and his team at Apple designed a one-off iPad for the event, selling for £50,000 and a tea set by his Apple design collaborator, Marc Newson, reached £80,500. Olympic Cauldron and Garden Bridge designer Thomas Heatherwick donated a bronze version of his fun and innovative Spun chair, which sold for £60,000. 

Deyan Sudjic, Director of the Design Museum said: “We are hugely grateful to Phillips for their support; they have been a great partner for the new Design Museum fundraising campaign. The Design Museum is also fortunate to have had the support of so many of the world’s leading designers, architects, artists, collectors and gallerists in making a huge contribution towards the success of the fundraising campaign to open its new home in Kensington in November.” 

Achieving higher than the estimated target, this substantial contribution now leaves the museum with just under £2 million left to raise before it opens its doors to the public in November, and a further £7 million to create necessary reserves to safeguard the future of the Design Museum. Launching in June, the public phase of the museum’s fundraising campaign will be a playful and inclusive appeal with familiar items from the museum’s collection at its heart. 

The new Design Museum in Kensington, which is set to open on 24 November 2016, will be the world’s leading museum devoted entirely to contemporary design and architecture. It will be an international showcase for the many design skills at which Britain excels and a creative centre promoting innovation and nurturing the next generation of design talent. The move will give the museum three times more space than in its current location at Shad Thames. The museum’s new home is the Grade II* listed former Commonwealth Institute building, which was re-constructed by the developer Chelsfield and is being remodeled internally by John Pawson. It will offer three galleries and state of the art learning and event spaces under its stunning roof in Holland Park. For the first time in the museum’s history there will be a free gallery presenting a contemporary vision of the designed world using the museum’s collection.

Photo: Zaha Hadid, Set of three ‘Bianco Covelano’ low tables, from the ‘Mercuric’ collection, 2013. Sold for: £106,900.


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