Knightsbridge residents hit out at plans for illusions museum opposite Harrods

Proposed museum would be opposite Grade II* listed Harrods (Westminster City Council)
Proposed museum would be opposite Grade II* listed Harrods (Westminster City Council)

Knightsbridge residents have objected to plans for an illusions museum opposite Harrods over fears its advertising could detract from the world-famous department store.

The Paradox Museum, which has outlets in Miami, Paris and Barcelona, aims to open a new venue on Knightsbridge’s Brompton Road in 2024.

The company bills the museum as a “destination full of locally inspired concepts, mind-twisting stories, and fun experiences”.

It would host a number of mind-bending installations including a proposed infinity room, a Harry Potter-themed room and a camouflage room.

But in a letter of objection to Westminster City Council, residents living 100m away claimed that backlit signs in its windows advertising the museum could be “detrimental to the character” of the area, “and in particular, the listed Harrods building opposite.”

While not opposing plans for a museum outright, they have also asked the council to cap numbers to 250 attendees at any one time over fears of noise and disruption, and to not allow a restaurant on-site.

However, in a report recommending approval, officers said the plans were “appropriate” for the area.

Officials said it would “add diversity” to the area and “form a new visitor destination in Westminster," adding that visitors would be able to queue inside without disturbing residents.

They said council enforcement teams had been asked to look at current advertising signs at the site, which appeared to have been installed by a third-party.

Since advertisements are regulated separately, the documents state that the signage will not be decided as part of the plans.

They add “an application for advertisement consent for external advertisements for the museum” could be decided afterwards, where residents' fears could be addressed.

If approved, the museum could be open to the public between 10am and 10pm, attracting up 1,200 visitors a day.

The plans are expected for approval by councillors on October 31.