Bompas & Parr is set to launch a new London museum based on the art and science of food. Called the British Museum of Food, it will open next month (October 23) in Borough Market for three months, and will be the world’s first cultural institution entirely devoted to the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of food. The museum, which will take over six rooms spread over two floors on Cathedral Street, is a joint project between the consultancy and Borough Market (one of the oldest food markets in London), and will start out as a temporary installation, with aspirations for the project to move to a permanent space at some point in the near future.
Bompas & Parr is set to launch a new London museum based on the art and science of food next month (October 23) in Borough Market for three months
Bompas & Parr : Photo: Alex Lentati
The design duo, who were also behind the London Skyline built from jelly (really) and the (literally) intoxicating breathable cocktail bar, also located in Borough Market, are currently seeking charitable status for the museum, and putting together a trustee board ahead of seeking financial support to create a permanent museum. It was built using the revenue from their afore-mentioned “Alcoholic Architecture” bar. Over the next five years they hope to develop and establish it alongside the capital’s other famous museums. The museum will look at food’s history and evolution, and aims to showcase the most exciting elements of food, and encourage people to consider what they eat and learn more about their nutrition and health. It also has hopes to advise government policies related to food, and work with experimentation in the field, if it were to become a permanent collection.
The museum will start out as a temporary installation, with aspirations for the project to move to a permanent space at some point in the near future
The museum's opening exhibits will manifest a variety of features that embody the museum’s motto of “From Field to Table, Mouth and Beyond.” Exhibitions will include: “Be the Bolus,” an cinematic journey following food into the stomach, a “Sonic wonderland of chocolate” called “Choco-Phonica,” where visitors will experience taste enhanced by sound, a selection of historical British menus, and a walk-through tropical butterfly experience called the “Butterfly Effect,” which tells the story of “The heroes of pollination.” You'll also find the “Atelier of Flavour,” which will compose artwork representing unusual views of food and drink. The initial museum opening is intended to be a taster to encourage ideas for the future.
The duo say the museum has been inspired by the Design Museum and its journey from exhibition at the V&A to a permanent collection
The duo have said that the British Museum of Food has been a long-held ambition of the consultancy, and has been inspired by the Design Museum’s journey from exhibition at the V&A to a permanent collection. Consultancy co-founder Sam Bompas, said: “The best museums entertain and inspire, and also educate. We want to achieve that within the realm of food. Food now in the UK is the zeitgeist. It's become so important in our collective consciousness, and in how it forms self-identity for people. It’s extraordinary that we have things like modern art museums, but not yet a food museum, when food is far more important and democratic for everyone. You don’t need to know about the history of food to have a well-formed opinion, everyone can be an expert because everyone eats!”