The Portland Collections Gallery

The project was an invited competition organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants for a new Gallery on the Welbeck Estate in Northamptonshire. GBA were shortlisted alongside Tony Fretton, Caruso St. John, Dow Jones, Hugh Broughton and Haworth Tompkins.

Welbeck, UK
2011–2012
Sector: Cultural
Client: Welbeck Foundation
Project Status: Competition
Budget: £5M

The dramatic idea of floating a roof above these walls came about partly to preserve the existing walls in a simple way, but also to create a way to control light within the proposed gallery. The three existing walls and the new roof therefore protect the spaces below from a high proportion of sunlight and daylight, and temper the light, which is a fundamental part of our concept, to more appropriate levels for a gallery. The inverted ‘pitched roof’ form creates a memory of the original glass roof to the gallop, and by projecting the roof over the walls into the entrance courtyard, makes a signal to the outside that there is something special within to be explored. Colouring it a deep terracotta colour reflects the brick walls of the gallop to the outside, and at the same time initiates a language that deals with the artefacts through colour and materiality, avoiding the typical gallery experience.


Gianni Botsford
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