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Gallery for Regional Art

Part 2 Project 2002
Stephen Harrington
University of Plymouth | UK

Fundamentally I have tried to make a building about simplicity & light, whose structure, ordering and form will appear elegant yet simple - clear to the eye and honest.

The Southwest has a strong tradition of creating world-class artwork, but much of this local output is never seen in its place of origin. Whole generations of art have only ever been seen as individual pieces. The regional gallery aims to address this issue by providing an ever-changing nexus of local work. However, the gallery would not just operate as a one way device, it would also create conditions for touring art shows to have access to a world class venue in the heart of the Southwest - bringing new influences to local artists as well as the general public.

The design of the building aims to create a place rather than an institution. Its transparent façade entices people in, maybe just to have coffee or go to the bookshop or sit in the courtyard garden. However, once within this interior urban landscape the full drama of the long cantilevered silver tube of the gallery becomes apparent. This giant jewellery box encapsulates a set of highly variable spaces providing both naturally and artificially lit areas. Effectively it is its own blank canvas. Translucent photovoltaic panels running across the roof control natural light in the galleries and their excess power generation can be sold back to the grid.

Stephen Harrington

Stephen spent his final diploma year within the Zen Studio and his project reflects the development of concerns related to its agenda. In particular Stephens' concern with place, materiality, and the meanings derived through ones direct sensual engagement with the built work enabled him to generate a contemporary solution to the inherent dilemma within the 'Exhibition Building' type - namely of simultaneously providing distinctiveness of place alongside a supportive and potentially neutral background for varying exhibits.

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