Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Art Gallery Design | Firstsite Contemporary Art | Colchester | United Kingdom |

As the first effort in the revitalization of Colchester’s historic St. Botolph’s Quarter, firstsite:newsite anchors the long-term development plan of an under-utilized district. Rafael Viñoly Architects won the design competition for this new visual arts facility by expanding on the project brief, which would have destroyed the historic character of St. Anne’s Church. Once the construction site was moved eastward, the new museum was designed to create extra public space and parkland and to maintain and showcase local heritage sites, including early Roman ruins, while making a visually striking architectural statement.

To the north, a crescent-shaped building wraps around an eighteenth-century Victorian garden. The building roof, which slopes slightly upward in line with the site topography, culminates in a monumental portico that frames the lobby with full-height glazing. To the south, the outside arc of the crescent faces a small Victorian garden and an intact Roman wall that defines the site boundary. Modern in both form and cladding (the exterior consists of a distinctive gold-hued skin of copper-and-aluminum alloy panels), the building adopts the site’s axial geometry and the approximate height of the neighboring buildings. A concrete raft foundation allows the structure to rest on the ground and leave buried archaeological remains undisturbed, with no deep excavation required......more
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