Aberdeen Art Gallery to reopen following £34.6m refurbishment
October 30 2019
Aberdeen Art Gallery is set for its eagerly awaited grand unveil this weekend following an extensive £34.6m redevelopment of the A-listed building at the hands of Hoskins Architects.
Billed as the biggest transformation in the gallery’s 130-year history the work has seen the cultural space augmented with additional display space, principally via a scalloped copper-clad second-floor extension.
Expanded floor space accommodates additional exhibition and education capacity together with improved visitor facilities, wayfinding and circulation. Behind the scenes functionality has also been greatly improved with new environmental controls, storage and staff spaces contained within a newly built ‘backpack’.
The chief intervention necessitated complete removal of the entire roof of the 1873 institution to allow a new extension to rise from the existing granite walls. This has enabled the formation of naturally lit temporary exhibition spaces as well as a café and public roof terrace to capitalise on the rooftop vista.
A glazed roof meanwhile now floods the Sculpture Court with light while doubling as a thermal stack as part of a natural ventilation strategy with concealed automated vents drawing air from the gallery spaces below. A cantilevered staircase finished in grey timber is driven through a slot formed on the edge of the sculpture court.
Use of grey timber is extended to a series of ‘portals’ are employed to connect gallery spaces, interpreted as ‘room-sized thresholds’ on the roofscape.
In a statement, Hoskins Architects wrote: “The rooftop extension establishes an elaborate dialogue with the adjacent Remembrance Hall dome. Its angular plan form and darting roofline are carefully calibrated in key views from nearby streets and from across Union Terrace Gardens, to offer a constantly shifting presence in relation to the granite of the Gallery walls and the green copper of the Remembrance Hall dome for those who move through the city.”
The new-look gallery will officially open its doors on Saturday 2 November.
Images by Gillian hayes of Dapple Photography
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