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Aberdeen Art Gallery to reopen following £34.6m refurbishment

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October 30 2019

Aberdeen Art Gallery to reopen following £34.6m refurbishment

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

A dramatic rooftop extension finished in scalloped copper signifies the transformation within
A dramatic rooftop extension finished in scalloped copper signifies the transformation within
Building fabric and systems have been upgraded as part of the work
Building fabric and systems have been upgraded as part of the work

Improvements to the art gallery extend to an attached war memorial and the Cowdray Hall
Improvements to the art gallery extend to an attached war memorial and the Cowdray Hall
The copper crown is conceived as a contemporary continuation of the cityscape
The copper crown is conceived as a contemporary continuation of the cityscape

5 Comments

Matt
#1 Posted by Matt on 30 Oct 2019 at 13:07 PM
Stunning...
Doug
#2 Posted by Doug on 30 Oct 2019 at 13:44 PM
Great stuff Hoskins
KLD
#3 Posted by KLD on 30 Oct 2019 at 15:07 PM
Cracking building, shame about the oversized shipping container someone glued to the roof.
Alvar Aalto's mother
#4 Posted by Alvar Aalto's mother on 30 Oct 2019 at 16:28 PM
That's a truly beautiful roof extension.
Especially in the 2nd of 5 photos.
Jon
#5 Posted by Jon on 1 Nov 2019 at 09:34 AM
Finally! Looks great, about time there is a bit of decent new architecture in Aberdeen, against the juxtaposition of the terrible cr@p produced by HFM and others at TK's opposite...

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