The Museum of London and the Architecture Foundation have declared The House of Muses by London and Zurich based designers Gruppe the winner of a public competition which sought designs for a structure to help garner public opinion.
Gruppe’s design is inspired by ‘historic fragments’ found around the City of London, and is conceived as a pillar from an imaginary monument, although we think it looks like a pulpit, and has the presence of a speaker’s soap-box, especially as imagined in the main impression, with a figure poking out of the top.
It looks quite monolithic and stone-like but will in fact be constructed from plywood, and is designed to be placed outside the museum’s entrance.
Inside the structure a spiral staircase either leads you to the vertiginous platform at the top where you can presumably shout your opinion or down into its belly where there will be an as yet undecided ‘creative solution’ to communicating opinion according to a Museum of London spokesman.
The spokesman says a series of questions will be set for visitors, though it is not yet known whether the interface will be screen-based, paper-based or involve some other kind of system.
The broader context, and the point of all this, is the museum’s future. Architect John McAslan and Partners is currently putting together a masterplan to define the museum’s ‘infrastructural properties’ and help identify potential areas of investment according to the spokesman.
Two other teams were shortlisted – Sam Jacob and Pablo Bronstein, and Neon – selected from 70 entries, which were judged by Guardian architecture critic Oliver Wainwright, John McAslan and Partners director Hannah Lawson, and British Council director of architecture, design and fashion Vicky Richardson.
House of Muses will open during the London Festival of Architecture on 6 June and remain in place until 21 September.