Leighton House Museum

The Brief

Leighton House Museum is set amongst an exceptional circle of artist’s studio-houses on the fringes of Holland Park. It is the former home of Frederic, Lord Leighton, eminent Victorian artist and President of the Royal Academy 1878-1896.

The aim of this ambitious project was to turn the museum from hidden gem to national treasure. This entailed expanding the site to provide more space for core visitor functions, collection care, a dedicated gallery for over 700 Leighton drawings, a new entrance and shop, and a consolidated staff suite. Most of the new development was within the existing building envelope or below ground, though a modest and compact ground floor extension together with a new staircase and lift has enabled the space to become fully accessible for the first time.


Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea


London W14




6,364 ft²


  • Culture
  • Heritage


  • Cost Consultancy
  • Health & Safety (CDM)

The Challenge

A central component of the project was the recovery and restoration of several parts of Leighton House that had been ‘lost’ through changes made during the twentieth century. A first floor balcony and an extension to the original house, built in the 1880s and supported on cast iron columns, have now been fully restored and re-integrated, and the grand Entrance Hall has been re-instated to its original form. New elements introduced include a helical staircase across 3 floors, which is enveloped by an 11 meter hand-painted contemporary mural.







The Outcome

The project had multiple funders and stakeholders, and we were able to tailor our approach and reporting to fit with their governance requirements.

Our experience of projects which blend heritage and restoration with new and upgraded facilities was invaluable, as we were able to engage with specialist contractors and craftspeople both prior to and through the tender process and beyond to manage the cost of the improvements within the Clients cost envelope.

The new fully accessible visitor and collection care facilities have allowed the integrity of Leighton House to be preserved whilst opening it up for generations to come.







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Re-opened to the public
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‘The refurbishment project at Leighton House has been a complex and painstaking process involving restoration work to the historic house, new-build and the excavation of a new basement. Jackson Coles provided invaluable expertise and professional support throughout this process to the great benefit of the project.’
Daniel Robbins
Senior Curator

Other Projects We’ve Completed Include


The Cathedral & Abbey of St Alban

Southbank Centre Festival Wing