Damien Hirst gallery crowned RIBA prize winner

The UK’s most prestigious architecture prize was last night awarded to a new gallery housing the private art collection of Damien Hirst.

Hailed as a ‘bold and confident contribution to the best of UK architecture’ the Newport Street Gallery was crowned winner of the 2016 Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Stirling Prize at a ceremony in London. Now in its twenty-first year, the prize is awarded to a UK building which fulfils a range of criteria including:

  • design vision;
  • innovation and originality;
  • capacity to stimulate, engage and delight occupants and visitors;
  • accessibility and sustainability;
  • how fit the building is for its purpose; and
  • the level of client satisfaction.

Designed by Caruso St John architects, the Newport Street Gallery involved the remodelling of three listed Victorian industrial buildings in Vauxhall, which once housed carpentry and scene painting workshops for London’s West End theatres. Caruso St John’s design also incorporated brand new additions finished with a specially created hard pale red brick to resemble the original listed buildings. The result, according to one member of the Stirling Prize judging panel is ‘a continuous and coherent sequence of light filled gallery spaces’. Continue reading

Strike action over modernisation plan continues at the National Gallery

There is limited access at the National Gallery today due to ongoing strike action by the Public and Commercial Services Union, which opposes the gallery’s modernisation programme. The modernisation programme includes privatising up to two-thirds of the gallery’s 600 staff, including those who look after the security of paintings, deal with the public, and respond to requests for information about the collection. Continue reading