In our final blog of 2018, we look at our favourite new spaces across the UK. Choosing just five was difficult, as you can imagine, and we look forward to welcoming many more new places in 2019.
Royal Academy – London
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the institution, David Chipperfield Architects has rejuvenated the Royal Academy’s (RA) “unloved building” at 6 Burlington Gardens and connected it to the institution’s main building, Burlington House.
As a result, the RA now has an exhibition space permanently dedicated to architecture – a first for the institution.
The 250-seat auditorium is the most visible new intervention in the Burlington Gardens building, and is called the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre. The day-lit space, which can be darkened through the use of blinds and a blue curtain, and will be used to host public lectures and talks, as well as RA meetings.
V&A Dundee – Dundee
As Scotland’s first design museum, V&A Dundee tells a global story, investigating the international importance of design alongside presenting Scotland’s outstanding design achievements. At the heart of the museum, the Scottish Design Galleries feature 300 exhibits drawn from the V&A’s rich collections of Scottish design, as well as from museums and private collections across Scotland and the world.
Part cliff face, part galleon, the new V&A Dundee stands on the banks of the Tay like a curious craft sailed in from another realm. It is at once primal and futuristic.
Yes it’s late and is hugely over budget, but what a building – curving concrete walls (there are no straight external walls) hold 2,500 pre-cast rough stone panels, weighing up to 3000 kg each and spanning up to 4m wide, to create the appearance of a Scottish cliff face. There are 21 separate wall sections. V&A Dundee is an impressive 8,000 sq m building, with 1,650 sq m of gallery space.
Fotografiska – London
Fotografiska makes both established and cutting-edge photography accessible to the public and shares its expertise, allowing guests to experience the infinite expressions and meanings of photography.
Beyond its core mission of educating its visitors about photography, Fotografiska closely incorporates modern restaurants, educational facilities, art-oriented retail and event spaces as part of the overall concept.
Fotografiska London is due to be completed towards the end of 2018 although it’s possible this may be delayed to early 2019 so we may be a little early – however, as it’s such an amazing space we thought it was worth putting on your radar!
Storey’s Field Centre & Eddington Nursery – Cambridge
This is the very highest quality architecture. It shows how an architect can add joy, an enhanced experience of materials and human dimension to every part of a building. The spaces in the nursery are worthy of a much more sophisticated audience, but are always based around the scale and activities in each space.
Where small windows are needed they are arranged in the pattern of constellations of stars (even with the correct orientation), and a decorative circular window from the enclosed garden is made out of a ventilation inlet grille. It is evidence of the skill, imagination and continuous attention to detail of the architect. This is a truly well-crafted building, where material or technology is only used where it is needed. We are proud to be working on the residential elements at Eddington, North West Cambridge, for our client Hill.
Eccleston Yards – London
Eccleston Yards is a new well-being and fitness centre within central London that provides a welcome break from its bustling metropolitan surroundings. Abundant greenery, an open-air yard, and community-driven artistic endeavours help make this peaceful oasis the favoured spot for busy employees of Victoria. The centralised courtyard’s modern architecture offers a contemporary look and feel, while calendared events encourage local residents and employees to engage with the space on a deeper level.
While Eccleston Yards is a prime example of a well-crafted placemaking brand, the harmony between its tenants and the physical experience is what sets it apart from similar spaces. The landlord’s clear investment in creating a perfect balance between tenants and the physical environment ensures that Eccleston Yards will remain a popular escape from the city, in the city, for years to come.