‘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.
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.
A sculpted terrazzo entrance with an open plan design will connect the ground-level Café and lower-ground Bookshop to the street, creating a welcoming meeting place and lively hub for visitors. Extending over a further five floors, the original Victorian red-brick warehouse will be linked to a modern steel-framed extension through an external sleeve of black render, terrazzo and sustainably sourced Angelim Pedra wood. The architects have created numerous links between exterior and interior, punctuating the building with large feature windows which function as apertures onto the urban realm around Oxford St…’
‘…Architects Sheila O’Donnell and John Tuomey said: We look forward to seeing the transformed Gallery unveiled from behind its scaffolding. We wanted The Photographers’ Gallery to have an identifiable presence as a new public building in Soho, its silhouette visible through the gap on Oxford Street. Large windows are designed to frame views in to the gallery spaces and out to the London skyline. The black rendered elevations that wrap the new extension are cut away to reveal the colour and character of the original brick warehouse structure.’