The Natural History Museum has won planning permission for a significant extension of its outdoor spaces, designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects.

The new additions will include a subterranean cloister, wildlife garden and large public plaza.

Niall McLaughlin Architects commented: “The grounds project will greatly improve access to the museum, reducing queues while turning the currently fragmented outdoor space into a series of open-air galleries that put the living world centre stage for any visit.”

Dippy the Dinosaur, the Diplodocus skeleton cast which has stood in the museum entry hall since 1979, and which will embark on a UK tour in 2018, will return to the museum to take up a place in the gardens in time for the completion of the extension in 2020.

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