Cube and skin
Building is an L-shaped glass cube enclosing all inhabitation (galleries, staff etc), wrapped by a skin that encloses the circulation, resting spaces and informal galleries. The magic and theatre of the building is the spatial and experiential relationship between these two objects and the city.
Building shape and orientation to connect river with park and city
Cube only occupies 3/4 of site with 1/4 is provided to city as open arts space for performance art, informal galleries, out-door sculptures etc (refer to land development).
Volume relates to surrounding buildings (height of cube relating to church height), stepping back of building from the arts school).
Ground floor is an open space that links with café and conference room.
On East block of lower building are supporting spaces (staff, library and education rooms) with full natural sunlight. Easy access and communication through separate entrance door and circulation.
Galleries operate on every floor over the supporting spaces, They offer flexibility but also potential for different types of art, sculpture, art, drawing, performance, light installations, (from open 5m high space to 10m high atrium spaces), easily partitioned to change gallery from open 1500m2 space to smaller.
Skin is a floating tapering ramp with a solid wall that wraps the cube for access and protects light-sensitive galleries. Internal ramp not only effortlessly connects galleries but allows for a particular re-invention of the relationship between: visitor and the city: through particular framed viewpoints of the city as the skin folds in itself and through a breath-taking view of the city from the restaurant and club visitor and art gallery: play of height levels between ramp and art walls and flexibility of partitioned gallery walls allow for an endless variations of art observation and participation artist and gallery: Artist can use basic gallery spaces but also the internal wall of the ramp from a massive 300m long painting murial to multiple light projections etc.
Design team: Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham