London Transport Museum to open permanent design gallery

The museum is opening a permanent design gallery and also rolling out a pop-up retail concept.

Drawing showing the standard layout of the registered design version of the Johnston Underground roundel, c1925
Drawing showing the standard layout of the registered design version of the Johnston Underground roundel, c1925

London Transport Museum is set to open its new London by Design gallery, a permanent space showing how London’s transport is “one of the world’s most enduring examples of brand identity and a world leader in transport design,” according to the museum.

The space has been designed by consultancy Norton Allison and is curated by the museum. It promises to show many “never before seen” items from the 1900s to the present day.

London by Design will tell the story of how “British art and design have become deeply and inextricably bound with London’s transport network,” according to the museum.

The exhibition begins with the stories of Frank Pick and Lord Ashfield, who were behind many of the early 20th century commissions. It was they who commissioned the Johnston Typeface and the London Transport roundel.

LbD Power, Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1930
LbD Power, Edward McKnight Kauffer, 1930

Other sections of the exhibition include maps, vehicles and maquette fabric, designed environments and poster art.

Pop up stores roll-out

Meanwhile London Transport Museum has launched a pop-up retail store in South Kensington Tube station.

It is the first of several to roll out and has been branded by Holmes & Marchant. The South Kensington store, located in 8 Station Arcade, will soon be followed by more at Piccadilly Circus and St James’ Park.

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Made in Place has designed the interiors concept and says it looked to create a cost-effective and simple solution that could house a “colourful, diverse and complex” product range.

A cash desk featuring a large magenta version of the London Underground roundel is one of many bespoke elements within the shop, which have been designed in a modular way so that they can outlive the pop-up space and be used again elsewhere.

Tablets are fixed to a mid-floor fixture so customers can browse the entire collection of posters and products, which might not be available within the store.

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Made in Place managing director Ken Wingate says: “With pop-up retail worth well over £2 billion to the UK economy, we’re experiencing increased demand from our clients to produce pop-up stores that echo the same brand message, personality and values as their larger high-street stores.

“For us, this project was about capturing the fun side of the London Transport Museum brand and presenting it as a pop-up with a powerful impact.”

Made In Place Design, Ken Wingate, Transport for London, TFL, South Kensington Tube Popup
Made In Place Design, Ken Wingate, Transport for London, TFL, South Kensington Tube Popup

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