The ambitious £135m development, which will accommodate 'blockbuster' exhibitions, has been designed by Lord Roger's architectural firm, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, and incorporates five linked pavilions and facades in glass and stone. Each building will operate on seven levels, including three underground storage basements. The museum will seek a planning application this month and if approved, the extension will open in late 2012.
It will provide a new exhibition space, state-of-the-art conservation and science laboratories. Funding for the project is underway with £90m raised already including contributions from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. The museum said that a challenge for architects was to produce an "elegant design" that expressed its contemporary standing but also reflected the main building's architectural legacy.
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