Designed by award-winning Irish architects O’Donnell + Tuomey, the transformed building features a two storey extension that will double the size of the previous exhibition space. Providing a platform for an enhanced programme of exhibitions, the generously proportioned galleries will showcase established and emerging photographic talent from the UK and around the world. A new environmentally controlled floor will create opportunities to show more work from archives and museum collections and higher ceilings in the top floor galleries will provide dynamic spaces for large-scale and moving image works.
The Photographers’ Gallery unveiled its new home for international and British photography in the heart of London’s Soho on Saturday 19 May 2012. The Gallery’s opening will mark the conclusion of its ambitious £8.9 million capital campaign, which has been generously supported by Arts Council England’s Lottery Fund alongside a range of Trusts, Foundations, corporates and individuals.
The Gallery is located at a crossroads, between Soho and Oxford Street. The corner site is visible in a glimpse view through the continuous shop frontage of Oxford Street. Ramillies Street is approached down a short fight of steps, leading to a quieter world behind the scenes of London life, a laneway with warehouses and backstage delivery doors.
The brick-warehouse steel-frame building is extended to minimise the increase in load on the existing structure and foundations. This extended volume houses large gallery spaces. A close control gallery is located within the fabric of the existing building.
The lightweight extension is clad in a dark rendered surface that steps forward from the face of the existing brickwork. The street front café is finished with black polished terrazzo. Untreated hardwood timber framed elements are detailed to slide into the wall thickness flush with the rendered surface. The composition and detail of the hardwood screens and new openings give a crafted character to the façade.
A deep cut in the ground floor façade was made to reveal the café. The ground floor slab was cut out to lead down to the basement bookshop. An east-facing picture window and the north-light periscope window to the city skyline were added in response to the specific character of the site.
Project name: Photographers Gallery
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
Type: Gallery, Gallery Interior
Project Area: 225 sqm
Completion Year: 2012