Ritchie quits post in gallery budget row

Architect Ian Ritchie is resigning from his post as design advisor to the Natural History Museum. The museum says his masterplan for the new Earth Galleries did not keep within budget restraints.

Ritchie was asked to design the masterplan for the 12m tranformation of the former Geological Museum into the Earth Galleries last year (DW 16 December 1994).

According to a museum spokeswoman, the masterplan Ritchie produced was “not

achieveable for the money we set aside for design from the 12m available”.

Conflict also arose over Ritchie’s positioning of fire exits. According to the museum, Ritchie’s designs were not suitable, and no compromise could be reached.

There were also “discrepancies over different design areas”, says the museum spokeswoman. Ritchie will be replaced “as soon as possible”.

In a written statement, Ritchie confirms “major differences of opinion” which prompted his resignation. He has “decided to withdraw from all future associations” with the project “as a result…of the non-implementation of central concepts of the masterplan”. He declines to comment further. Ritchie has advised the museum on design matters since July 1991.

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