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Design House at the New Art Centre, Winterslow

Gallery spaces at the New Art Centre are familiar to the awards scheme, having received previous awards in 1999 and 2003. The new Design House gallery was designed by the same architect, and followed similar themes, all part of a long and very successful project to enhance one of the area’s major artistic resources. It started from a red brick Victorian cottage on the edge of a walled garden, retained and substantially extended for gallery use, though domestic facilities were included in case of a future wish to return to residential use. The judges had to mentally strip away the artworks on display and focus on the building works which had given them a showcase, and concluded that these had been excellently conceived and executed. They followed on from previous additions such as the Artist’s House, with the same off-white render and simple window openings with single sheets of glass framed in steel. Internal roofs mainly used exposed timber members, apart from the large gallery space forming the transition from the cottage, which has exposed steel trusses, below a top light which enhances the very light character of all the new spaces. Details had been well considered everywhere, with timber window cills designed to take sculptures, and neatly designed shutters in rooms which might revert to domestic use, but which needed something other than curtains while their use was for display. Trouble had also been taken to create a nicely articulated render panel on the rear wall. The judges agreed that the Design House fully matched the quality of the previous award winners at the New Art Centre.

Architects: Stephen Marshall Architects, London

Photo: Richard Bryant