The Photographers’ Gallery is creating an iconic new building in the heart of London’s West End.
On 19 September 2010, the Gallery will close its doors to the public for a year while it embarks on its ambitious development of the building, creating a new, international home for photography in the UK. From October 2010, construction will begin at 16-18 Ramillies Street. Architects O’Donnell + Tuomey’s exciting plans will transform the former Edwardian warehouse into a state-of-the-art photography gallery.
The architectural plans include contemporary additions of textured acrylic render, Angelim Pedra hard wood and anthracite coloured terrazzo to elements of the existing structure and fabric of the building. The end result will provide three floors of dedicated public galleries that will enable the exhibition programme to be expanded; a floor dedicated to learning, offering space for a comprehensive programme of talks, events and education series and workshops; an enhanced Bookshop and Print Sales to nurture and inspire a new generation of collectors; a brand new café at street level; continued free admission and full access, including a passenger lift for public use.
Established in 1971, as the nation’s very first public gallery dedicated to photography, The Photographers’ Gallery always resided in the Soho area. Building on its heritage as one of the world’s primary venues for photography, it has welcomed around half-a-million visitors annually. Responding to the growing popularity in photography, in 2008 plans were launched to relocate with a major £8.7 million capital campaign. Now, two years later the gallery has reached a key moment in its history and are in the final stages of creating a unique ‘cultural oasis’ in the heart of central London.
During the construction period, the Gallery will operate a reduced programme offsite. Working in and around the Soho area, a series of innovative artist-led projects have been programmed, supported by Bloomberg, as have talks & events for visitors of all ages. The Print Sales will continue to be available to collectors through photography fairs and by appointment at its satellite location and the beloved Bookshop will be available to browse via its new online shop. To keep up-to-date with all the news, activities and developments join its free newsletter – sign up at www.photonet.org.uk.
Coinciding with its 40th anniversary, The Photographers’ Gallery will reopen in Autumn 2011. Further information on anniversary events and the opening programme will be posted on the website.