The iconic, cocoon shaped, Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, London, by Denmark based CF Møller Architects, is the winner of the prestigious 2011 Civic Trust Award, in recognition of its exceptional design quality and its positive cultural and social contribution to the local community.
The Darwin Centre’s concept is realised with the outmost clarity. An inner cocoon, shaped by curved die-cast concrete surfaces, is framed in a glazed box. The cocoon is the ideal metaphor for the Centre’s function. It houses the museum’s collection of plants and insects, provides scientific research facilities and gives visitors the opportunity to interact with the collections and the research community.
Sustainability is at the core of the design’s philosophy. The building’s environmental impact is minimized without compromising its aesthetics and function.
The Darwin Centre, result of an international design competition won by CF Møller Architects in 2001, was inaugurated in late 2009.