Gagosian Britannia Street
London, United Kingdom 2002–2004
Client: Gagosian RIBA Award
Caruso St John has designed many projects for Gagosian since their first London gallery in Heddon Street in 2000. The Gagosian Gallery at Britannia Street in King’s Cross opened in 2004. The gallery has a ground floor space of 1,400 square meters, and provides three connected galleries, accommodating the possibility of a large single exhibition or smaller parallel shows. The largest gallery – twenty-eight metres long and almost six metres high – is a new building, while the other galleries are within existing structures.
The floors are made with powerfloated concrete that has been lightly sandblasted for an even and matt surface. Different natural lighting and subtle differences in construction between new and existing spaces provide a range of gallery conditions within a connected family of rooms. All the galleries have full environmental controls and museum-standard floor and wall loading capacity. New offices and viewing rooms are located on the first floor, above the gallery.
Through working with the same directors at Gagosian for more than twenty years, Caruso St John has a close understanding of the quality of art space that the gallery requires for its artists, whose work is often on a very large scale. This is reflected in a consistency across all the projects, like a brand. The scale and especially the height of the galleries is very large, the levels of lighting, both natural and artificial are usually very high and consistent. The details and finishes have a grandness and visual restraint that matches the scale. The complex servicing requirements for environmental servicing and lighting are highly controlled in appearance. Special attention is given to the floor, which on close inspection can be seen never to conform to the industry standard common to most commercial galleries. The scale and lack of detail allows even the largest works of art to be seen in a calm atmosphere.
London, United Kingdom
Caruso St John Architects
Adam Caruso, Peter St John
David Kohn, Stephanie Webs
Rod Heyes, Aureliusz Kowalczyk, James Payne, Silvia Pfaffhauser, Esther Waterfield
Price & Myers