Horniman masterplan hunt sparks procurement anger

Unprotected view from the horniman credit of juliet freeman

South London museum’s £20k contract sought £10m in professional indemnity insurance

A south London museum’s hunt for a masterplan architect – deemed a brilliant opportunity for a small or medium-sized practice in theory – has drawn fire from architects for demanding an unrealistically high level of insurance cover for a £20,000 job.

The Horniman Museum in Forest Hill last week used the government’s Contract Finder website to launch a call for bidders to draw up a 10-year vision for its development. The project includes addressing issues related to the entrance, making better use of the whole site and deciding on the long-term use of the museum’s Study Collections Centre.

Although its arts and crafts main building, designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, is more than 115 years old, the museum has a strong track record of introducing new elements. Recent additions include Architype’s 1996 CUE building, Allies & Morrison’s 2002 extension and Walters & Cohen’s pavilion, which opened in 2012.

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