LTS Architects has completed work on Science Gallery London, a ground breaking new public space where art and science collide.
Housed within a wing of the original Guy’s Hospital, opposite London Bridge Station, the space provides exhibition galleries, a lecture and performance theatre, events facilities, a café, shop and newly restored Georgian courtyard.
LTS Architects was appointed by client, King’s College London to create a flexible, adaptable space, with clear navigation.
The architectural response opens up the building, positioning the main entrance within the streetscape, rather than inside the courtyard, and carving out a large glazed opening from the masonry façade to act as a ‘shop front’ revealing the exhibitions and activities within.
The interventions are sympathetic to the original building, using the same palette of materials as the listed facade, yet stretching and moulding them into an entrance sequence formed of contemporary architectural elements. A long cast stone seat wall draws visitors into the Gallery from the north and completes the Portland Stone plinth of the building. The goods lift tower, fundamental to the workings of the gallery, is placed within the street, cloaked with dynamically edge lit lasered glass panels.
Inside the volumes are open and continuous with spaces that can be lit, closed off or opened up at the whim of a curator. This enables ultimate flexibility so that the galleries can change their aspect completely from one exhibition to the next. The ground floor, which is used as a café space and shop by day can be reconfigured with ease to turn into an events space at night.
The Courtyard, previously used as a car park, is now a fully restored and accessible public square. Greg Shannon, Director, LTS Architects, said:
“Our sensitive refurbishment is a key part of the redevelopment of the vibrant and rapidly changing London Bridge area, providing a major new addition to the cultural landscape of the city.”
“Working closely with the teams from King’s College London and the Science Gallery we have created this new platform for art and science conversations – great for Southwark, for London and for anyone visiting our city.”
LTS Architects worked closely with Arup Lighting and LDA Design to deliver the project.
The free to enter gallery will open to the public on 21 September 2018 with its first exhibition HOOKED – delving into the complex world of addiction and recovery.