Teachers & Group Leaders

Looking at Buildings

Key Stage 3


The London Canal Museum is housed in a building put up over 150 years ago, for a very different purpose from the one it is used for now. In the drive for regeneration around the Battlebridge Basin, some buildings have, like the London Canal Museum, been adapted and reused. Others have been demolished, and new ones, made out of quite different material, put in their place. This activity looks at the buildings as machines for living and working, and in terms of design. It also examines the differences in materials used to build them.

National Curriculum

Art & Design

  • NC Exploring & Developing Ideas 1a & c
  • Breadth of Study 5 a, b, & d
  • QCA Art & Design Unit 7b What’s In a Building?

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the original purpose for which the Canal Museum was built, and how this has changed. To look at the ice wells and first floor stables in the building, and consider why they were placed where they were.
  • To examine the windows, doors and other functioning parts of the building and consider why they were built as they were.
  • To compare the materials from which the London Canal Museum was built with the materials of the modern buildings and consider why the changes took place.
Download Activity Plan