The Wolverhampton Art Gallery was designed by Julius Chatwin in 1884, the Grade II* Listed it exemplifies the Victorian ideal of civic architecture. Housed within the 'back-yard' site of the existing gallery, the new extension provides two state-of-the-art fine art galleries, (one to display its nationally renowned Pop Art Collection), a sculpture gallery, fine art storage space, artists' studios and a new public entrance with enhanced visitor facilities.
Located within this constrained site the new galleries' triangular form evolved as a means of both maximising the available space and generating a public route through the gallery and linking it with the university opposite.
The massing of the new extension and the use of glass, steel and terracotta complements the differing character and scale of the two adjacent facades. The three storey extension is linked to the old gallery by a top lit open linear foyer. Accommodating a new grand stair and flying walkways this space serves as a new organisational device, rationalising the previously confused patterns of visitor circulation and providing a cool transition between the old and the new.
Clearly contemporary, the new gallery wing reconciles both internally and externally the old with the new and sits comfortably in Wolverhampton’s historic city centre.
RIBA Regional Award Winner
Undertaken at Niall Phillips Architects